Know your street name? Better double-check it
By CHRISTINA HEADRICK, Times Staff Writer
CLEARWATER -- To honor, to simplify and to correct. That was the mission of the Clearwater City Commission Thursday night in approving name changes for four city streets.
First, the commission unanimously designated Greenwood Avenue as Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to honor the slain civil rights leader. The name change was done at the request of African-American residents, who felt a prominent city street should be named to recognize King.
There will be a two-year transition period during which residents and businesses can use either Greenwood Avenue or Martin Luther King Avenue as their address. Then Greenwood Avenue will be phased out. Until now, the city had only a three-block street named for King. The commission changed the name of that street in North Greenwood back to Douglas Avenue.
In other votes, commissioners changed the name of a block-long section of N Gulfview Boulevard to Beach Drive in an effort to make driving on Clearwater Beach less confusing. Tourists sometimes mixed up addresses on the tiny northern stretch of Gulfview and the longer southern segment of the road, city officials said.
The commission also changed a street called Vanderbuilt Drive in central Clearwater to Vanderbilt Drive, which is the correct spelling of the university for which the street was named.
Residents peeved by the mistake had requested the change. They showed up at Thursday's commission meeting waving a Vanderbilt flag and wearing a university baseball cap, both of which were included in a gift package that Vanderbilt University sent them in gratitude for correcting the school's name.
Four streets have new names, names officials hope will make residents and tourists happy.
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