Renaming GR streets for King, Chavez could take a year

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A movement is underway to formally change the names of a pair of streets in Grand Rapids after civil rights leaders.

The committee behind the effort is called Moving Ahead for the Remarkable Civil Rights Heroes, or MARCH.

Its goal is to honor two civil rights pioneers: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar E. Chavez. Specifically, it wants to rename Franklin Street between Oakland Avenue and the boundary with the city of East Grand Rapids after King. Grandville Avenue between Wealthy Street and Clyde Park Avenue would be named after Chavez.

Currently, two roads in Grand Rapids have commemorative names for the men. This proposal would rename the streets.

Third Ward City Commissioner Senita Lenear explained during a virtual meeting Thursday how the process would work:

“The community engagement comes first. That community engagement will help to gage the level of neighborhood support for the proposed changes. Before considering approval, the city commission would hold a public hearing and directly affected property owners would receive an invitation by mail. Signage changes would take several months. The entire process would take approximately one year,” Lenear outlined.

Right now, MARCH is anticipating the public hearing will happen in August.

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