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Public input sessions scheduled for new MLK street proposal

Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 20:14:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The public has two upcoming chances to weigh in on a proposal to rename a Kansas City, Missouri, thoroughfare in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The KC Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners voted last month to move forward with a proposal from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City to rename the Blue Parkway, Swope Parkway and Volker Boulevard corridor beginning at East 55th Street in King’s honor.

The public will be allowed to provide input on the proposal during the KC Parks Board of Commissioners meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at 4600 E. 63rd St. in KCMO.

Visitors wishing to speak will have to sign in at the front desk.

The second opportunity for the public to provide feedback will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway in KCMO.

The Watkins Cultural Heritage Center is along the proposed stretch of road, which might be renamed in King's honor.

The public meetings are required by city charter before any street can be renamed.

If the Board subsequently approves the name change, there will be a 30-day public notice period after which time the KC Parks Board may consider a resolution to rename the streets.

Citizen comments also can be made in writing and mailed to the KC Parks director at 4600 E. 63rd Street or emailed to KCParksEngage@kcmo.org.

The KCMO City Council voted to change the name of Paseo Boulevard in King’s honor in January 2019, even changing the street signs, but voters overturned the council’s decision 10 months later after an initiative petition put the name change on the November 2019 ballot.

Earlier this summer, the KC Parks Board removed J.C. Nichols’ name from a fountain and street near the Country Club Plaza under a proposal submitted by Commissioner Chris Goode.

He wanted the former J.C. Nichols Parkway renamed in King’s honor, but the SCLC-GKC was among the groups that opposed renaming that section of KCMO’s street after King.

Nichols’ name was removed from the fountain in Mill Creek Park and road, which is now called Mill Creek Parkway again.