The names of the streets of the university town may soon be changed
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Some University City street names could be changed after a task force is formed to consider whether the people they are named after deserve this recognition.
City manager Gregory Rose said the decision was a major talking point and they hope to have a decision in the coming months.
“I believe that as a society we started to look at these people that we honored and say, ‘Are we doing the right thing here? Rose said.
After the murder of George Floyd last year, a national movement questioned whether those honored at monuments and other monuments should stay.
“Some cities looked at statues and that were erected made changes and for us we decided to look at our parks and our streets,” said Rose. “Should we honor these people in this way?”
University City is now considering changing some of the street names in three phases, starting with Amherst, Jackson, Pershing and Wilson avenues.
“The task force reported on Monday what their findings were regarding the offensive streets and therefore the next step in the process is for the staff to assess and what the logistics are for changing the name of the street,” Rose said. “What are the pros and cons of doing it.”
Second level names include street names who were slave owners, such as Martin Hanley, Peter Lindell, William Price, and others.
The task force says more research is needed for the third level, but that it includes Yale, Princeton, Chamberlain and Washington avenues, as well as Camden Court.
“I think it’s great that the city is thinking about it,” said Doris Mann, a U-City resident.
Mann grew up in University City and graduated from University City High School when they were known as Indians.
At the time, Mann was unsure why the name change was made. Now she understands why and supports the idea of changing some street names.
“The college town has always been a very inclusive place compared to anywhere else in the St. Louis area that I know of,” she said. “I am very proud to say that I am from University City.”
Stuart Zimbalist has lived on Amherst Avenue since the 1970s and believes there is no need to change the street names.
“It’s just something that seems ridiculous to me,” he said. “We have much more serious issues to tackle these days and these days, and this isn’t one of them that’s for sure.”
Should the city take the time and energy to rename its streets? It depends on who you ask. But Mann and Zimbalist both say that one common denominator should be factored into the decision – cost.
“I think the cost should also be factored in and let the residents have a say or vote in the decision,” Mann said.
“In terms of time, money and energy, it would just be a waste,” Zimbalist said.
Rose said they would heed what residents say and he hopes to have a decision by this summer.
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