Stop Renaming Atlanta Streets: Sue the City!
What We’re Doing
A law suit is being prepared on behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of the City of Atlanta against members of the City Council for disregarding the City’s own laws in order to rename public streets.
We need your help to pay for legal consultation and the filing of an ante litem notice – a prerequisite to filing suit. We have built support from neighboring residents and businesses along Spring Street, but we need your help to show that Atlantans are tired of our City doing the wrong thing. We’re putting our money where our mouths are and telling the City to “Stop Renaming Atlanta Streets!“
Why We’re Having to Do It
The Atlanta City Council recently chose to waive several of its own laws so they could rename a portion of Spring Street for Ted Turner. These waivers include:
- 138-8(b)(5)(c) – If the application concerns a street renaming, it must be accompanied by a list of the names and addresses and signatures of 75 percent of the residents residing or businesses located on the street to which the street renaming applies in favor of the street renaming and whose address will change as a result of the street renaming
- 138-8(h) – Street name continuity. All applications for a street renaming must propose the change of the street name for the entire length of the street. An application proposing to change the name of only a portion of a street must be rejected by the commissioner of public works.
- 138-8(e) – Urban design commission review and comment. All street renamings and dedications located in the City of Atlanta must be reviewed by the urban design commission and be the subject of a regularly scheduled commission meeting.
What Should Have Happened Instead
After a series of contentious and costly street renamings in the early 2000s, the Atlanta City Council passed a new ordinance to encourage other ways of honoring Atlanta individuals and organizations. That ordinance recognized that:
- the City had been inundated with requests to change the names of streets
- there are numerous individuals and organizations that are worthy of recognition
- changing street names is confusing, potentially dangerous, causes great inconvenience to those whose residence or business is located on that street, imposes a substantial cost on the City to change street signs, and creates various other difficulties
- street names have significant historical value and renaming them would leave a historical void
So this ordinance that’s been law since 2002 gives preference to the naming and dedication of buildings, parks, plazas, or other public places in lieu of renaming streets.
Although we think Ted Turner deserves recognition, we do not feel renaming a portion of Spring Street is the proper way to honor him especially when it entails improperly dishonoring the procedures that were put in place to protect the residents, businesses, traveling public and others who would be inconvenienced by the renaming.
Since the legislative and administrative branches of the Atlanta city government are OK with this disregard of the City’s Code of Ordinances, we are being forced to take action through the legislative branch to provide the necessary checks and balances.
- 04/22/15 – Creative Loafing: Another day, another street renaming proposed for Downtown — this time for Ted Turner
- 04/28/15 – WABE: Atlanta’s Spring Street could be renamed Ted Turner Drive
- 04/28/15 – AJC: Atlantans turn out in support of Ted Turner Drive
- 05/18/15 – ABC: Downtown Atlanta street renamed for Ted Turner
- 05/20/15 – Curbed: Ted Turner Blvd to Join Long List of Switched Street Names
- 05/22/15 – AJC: Turner Field is kaput, and all Ted gets is this?
- 05/27/15 – AJC: What has a shorter lifespan than a Braves’ winning streak?
- 06/04/15 – Creative Loafing: Where the streets have 1,000 names
About the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association
The Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association (ADNA) was established around 1996, was officially recognized by the City of Atlanta in 2000, and became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 2002. Its mission is:
- to showcase what’s unique and historic about our Downtown neighborhood
- to enhance safety awareness
- to improve quality of life for the neighborhood’s residents and businesses
- to reduce the environmental impacts
- to publicize and promote educational opportunities for families