Valdosta City Council to weigh street name change

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 5, 2019

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Another street name change petition is making its way to the Valdosta City Council.

Last summer, local civil rights activists made headlines in an effort to change Forrest Street to Barack Obama Boulevard. Now, another change is in front of the city council.

Homeowner Jewel Perry is aiming to change a portion of Jackson Street Lane to Sam Bivins Lane, in honor of her late father.

"He was a builder of homes and lives," Perry said.

Still living within the same four walls, Perry said Bivins built the home, and the street, in the 1960's when nothing else was there.

Over the years, more traffic started using that connection, changing the name from Magnolia Street Lane to what it is now, Jackson Street Lane. But, that change means Jackson Street Lane rounds the corner changing directions, and it's causing confusion. Perry said mail often gets mixed up all throughout the neighborhood.

"It's like, trying to run people down for your mail, and they're running you down for your mail," Perry said.

The petition would change the stretch running east to west, giving a new address to a home that has stood for generations.

"He left a piece of him behind that we could all continue to cherish," Perry said. "My father built this, I'm living in it, my children's living in it, my grandchildren's living in it."

Perry's sister, Lounelle Robinson, said her father built homes all around Valdosta, and was known to many in the community. She said this street name change would leave a legacy he would be proud to leave behind.

"He'd probably turn that head to the side and do it like this, and say, 'well y'all, I don't know,'" Robinson said.

A public hearing on the petition is scheduled for Thursday's city council meeting. Because the petition is only changing part of the street, the Perrys are the only ones whose address would change if the petition passes. City documents show staff are recommending to pass the resolution.