At the January 5th meeting, Manhattan City Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with a process to change the name of 17th Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. A petition to change the street name was completed and signed by local resident Kevin Bryant on behalf of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee.
“I think that officially renaming 17th Street acknowledges the link of Manhattan past and the binding that has occurred between the city and the university,” said Bryant. “King’s visit to Kansas State University in 1968 challenged people to overcome the obstacles of racial equality in Manhattan. Manhattan responded and it continues to do today.”
The portion of 17th Street which lies on Kansas State University property will also be changed. Linda Cook, Chief of Staff and Director of Community Relations with Kansas State University submitted a letter of support and indicated the University would intend to carry the name through campus on their portion of 17th Street.
Before the street signs and addresses can officially change, several steps must be taken to notify residents and businesses, and provide opportunity for them to share input. The official measure will go before the City Commission again for consideration at February 2 legislative meeting at 7pm. Signs could be changed as early as March following approval and after all of the required notification procedures occur.
PHOTO CREDIT: "Martin Luther King, Jr. San Francisco June 30 1964" by geoconklin2001 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0