|Indianapolis' Georgia Street currently under construction.|
Some businesses and history buffs are miffed by a plan to change the name of a redeveloped Downtown street.Ballard, who doesn't seem to care at all about what the public thinks on any issue (e.g. Pacers $33.5 million giveaway, the 50 year parking meter deal, etc.), is plowing forward with the idea despite what appears to be overwhelming public opposition. Where are his political advisers who should be telling Mayor Ballard this is a dumb idea to do this just a few weeks before the election? After all, if he is dead set on doing this, he could easily wait until after the election.
The initiative, which is backed by Mayor Greg Ballard, would change the name of Georgia Street to . . . well, nobody knows yet.
Indianapolis Downtown Inc. last month conducted a survey asking for suggestions to rename Georgia Street and got more than 3,000 replies. The survey explained that Georgia is being transformed into a three-block long pedestrian mall in time for the Big Ten football championship game in December and the Super Bowl in February.
Ballard spokesman Marc Lotter said the goal is to create a "signature" name for the mall that would be recognized nationally, even internationally.
"It is part of the re-engineering of Georgia Street and the re-branding of it," he said. "This will be a new gathering place, a civic institution, like Monument Circle, so we want to market it."
But dissent has been stirring. Historian Joan Hostetler started a Facebook page in an effort to save the Georgia Street name and has been gathering petitions against it.
"I just think it is really shortsighted to change a street name that has been around 190 years for an event like this," Hostetler said. "I just wish they'd have a little more respect for the history of the street name."
Georgia is one of several streets named for states in the original city plat created by Alexander Ralston in 1821. Hostetler noted that another street named for a state, Massachusetts Avenue, has made quite a name for itself.
Hostetler said she worried that the new name might not wear so well in 20 to 25 years.
The city's Metropolitan Development Commission is expected to consider the name change in mid-October, and Ballard would have the final say after that, city officials said.
When people consider former military officers for elected office, the concern is usually that the person won't understand that he or she can't just give an order in politics and have it carried out like one can in the military. A mayor has to work with others, persuade, twist arms to get things done.
To go to the Facebook page to sign the petition to keep the Georgia Street name click here. Of course, it won't matter to this Mayor if 99% of the residents sign it. This Mayor simply does not care what the public thinks about anything he does in office.