Saturday, September 10th, 2011
The city of Indianapolis has a fantastic project under way downtown to take several lanes of Georgia St. away from cars and give them to people between the convention center and Conseco Fieldhouse. I hope to profile this prominently when complete because I think it’s another great leading edge public space example from the city – one that would be getting a lot more airplay if it were in a city that were more on the urbanist radar.
But there’s one aspect of this that’s not so great – a plan to rename Georgia St. Oddly, the backers of this don’t actually have a name in mind. They just want to chuck the existing one and are doing a design by committee on a new name. The one suggestion I’ve seen floated publicly, Hospitality Way, it utterly cringe-worthy and shows that while improving on a solid, historic name like Georgia St. would be difficult, picking something far worse will be depressingly easy. It would be a shame to have such a fantastic multi-million dollar public space project marred by having the city become a laughingstock to the nation by picking a goofy name.
You can help, however. There’s a survey out you can take in which you can give your opinion. I strongly encourage you to visit this survey and say that Georgia St. should stay. Here’s a link: Georgia St. Renaming Survey. Of course, if you don’t legitimately believe this, I would tell you to say what you really think. But it doesn’t take much to imagine how this renaming might go very badly.
There is also a Facebook page to “Keep Historic Georgia St.” you can join. They have news and additional suggestions for how you can take action. Lest you wonder, this is indeed a historic name, dating back to the original Ralston Plan plat of the city. And back in July the Indianapolis Business Journal ran a story on this planned change in which Yours Truly was quoted.
Of course, not all is lost from this renaming. It has spawned plenty of interesting suggestions. My favorite so far was someone who said, “They could call it Peyton Manning Way, then shut it down for construction the rest of the season….”