12th & MLK: A merger

Covington, KY, which is just over the Ohio River from Cincinnati, is adding an MLK Blvd. Instead of renaming, the town is simply adding on to an existing street name: “12th Street Martin Luther King Boulevard” will apparently be the full, and somewhat unwieldy, new name. “It is still unclear,” the Cincinnati Post adds, “whether the two names will be on the same sign or separate ones, as well as which name will be featured more prominently.”

More from the Post story:

The effort to change the name of the street to honor King started around 1990. Past efforts failed because of fears the change could impede mail delivery and cause visitors to the city to get lost.

At a public hearing last month, only a few people showed up to oppose the change. No opponents showed up for Monday’s vote.

Mayor Butch Callery said the name change should be the first step in making the entire stretch of 12th a beautiful thoroughfare through the city.

“I received a lot of opposition calls and e-mails after our public hearing last month. … Some people said that other streets named after Martin Luther King in other communities are located in bad neighborhoods. I say that we show them that is not what is happening in Covington. We’re going to make it a beautiful street.”

Steve Stevens, president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, said changing the name will help show the region to be one of inclusion and diversity.

“One of the big things we try and do is recruit and keep young professionals in the area,” Stevens said. “I think this is the type of message we want to send to those young people in order to make the area more attractive.”




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