Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Street Renamed Martin Luther King Boulevard

As you may remember our soon-to-be-former City Manager and his Staff determined late last year that in order for Dunwoody to be counted as a major league southern city it would be necessary to rename a local street after civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You may also remember this decision was not taken lightly nor received well, at least in some quarters.

While there have been months of secret meetings to identify the proper street and every rumour (City Hall probably calls it a trial balloon) has been bashed in pubs, coffee shops and papers, those at City Hall who know what is best for us have rendered a decision. This august body was drawn from members of the Perimeter Center Improvement District, the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, City Council, the Visitors and Convention Bureau and local PTA groups. It was decided to hold the deliberations in secret based solely on the presumption these discussions would be contentious. Or that's just the way this City rolls. And how could we in The Other Dunwoody take issue with anonymity?

Regardless, there were leaks. No surprises there, except reliable sources indicate Bonser was not engaged in these discussions. In any event the street of the Great Gas Station Leak of oh-twelve was never under consideration. At least not serious consideration.

Dunwoody Village Parkway was a popular suggestion at the outset especially given it had at one time a "boulevard" configuration. This was defeated by those still upset that the median and trees have been ripped up for pedestrians and bikers. Logic could not prevail and it was never made clear why they cared what it is called given they so much detest how it has already been changed. But not even a jarhead wants to die on that beach.

Some consideration was given to Winters Chapel, but that was quickly batted down. While it hews true to Chris Rock's observation about MLK anything and nearby violence there was concern this would appear offensive. The real reason is more likely that Winters Chapel is a "border street" perceived by many as only partly in Dunwoody if in Dunwoody at all.

Dunwoody Club was suggested, but near the country club it suffers the same border street limitation and many feared golfers would no longer be able to find the club. After all, how could there possibly be a country club on Martin Luther King Boulevard? As for the other section of Dunwoody club there was sufficient concern that no one would be able to find the street at all so it too was taken off the list.

The suggestion to rename Dunwoody Road was met with astonishment. Most in attendance didn't even know there was a Dunwoody Road and when shown on a map they remarked "where the hell is that"?

Someone suggested some place in Hidden Branches until someone (correctly) observed "that's just mean".

It was decided, and unanimously approved, to change Nandina to MLK Boulevard. Not a person in attendance could identify who "Nandina" ever was though several concluded "whoever it was they must have been black".

This momentous move forward for Dunwoody did not go unnoticed by the King Center in downtown Atlanta and they sent a representative to the ceremony where the name change was announced.

MLK Selection Committee Receives Award
While initially mistaken for someone else when the mistake was resolved he was embraced with all the warmth and charm the South has to offer and stated "I am very glad to [still] be here to toast your good work". He left shortly afterwards explaining he had a pressing engagement across town but there is no doubt that this resounding endorsement makes our founding fathers proud.