Renaming Road to Honor Civil Rights Leader

A controversial road name change is on the agenda at Monday night’s Wakulla County commission meeting. Two weeks ago commissioners agreed to rename a county road after Martin Luther King, Jr. Which road to change is still up for debate.

In a quiet rural county such as Wakulla, changing anything becomes a hot topic for conversation, but for some living in the close-knit community, changing the name of a county road to honor a civil rights leader is something worth talking about.

“It's time for citizens to come together, honor Dr. King. It's time for Wakulla County to acknowledge that as well,” says proponent Phyllis Osborn.

And most do, even county commissioners say it's time to rename a road after MLK, but pinpointing that road has created a stir in town. The most likely street is lower bridge road, a large artery through Crawfordville.

“I would not be offended by the change I would still continue to call it Lower Bridge Road as would others who've been here 3-4 years,” says Matt Mathis.

Business owners along lower bridge road fear a name change would tarnish their image. Attorney Richard Reno says many associate MLK boulevards with unsafe neighborhoods.

“The perception of my business is that I'm in a high crime, high drug infested area. I don't want that perception.”

Reno says folks living in Wakulla know that's not the case here, but says he advertises in other cities, and changing his address could hurt business. Wakulla County commissioners will revisit the issue at Monday night’s commission meeting in Crawfordville.