By Megan Wehring
KYLE — After months of going back to the drawing board, the West Ranch to Market 150 renaming committee finalized six names at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 16. The deadline for suggestions is Wednesday, Dec. 2.
While the committee received countless suggestions, each name has to follow specific criteria before it is considered sufficient. Cultural, historical and social significance were looked at along with duplicate names, symbolic value, importance to community and whether the name would be offensive.
The following names are moving forward to the next meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 2:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
- Silvestre S. Herrera Drive
- White Drive (J.H. White or Dr. James H. White)
- Driftwood Drive
- Freedom Drive
- Resilience Drive
Silvestre S. Herrera was a World War II hero who received a Medal of Honor from President Truman for his role in WWII. Dr. J.H. White was the first physician in the city of Kyle from the early 20th century.
The committee encourages more comments from residents at each meeting. Laura McMahon, president of Kyle Cultural Awareness, was the first to step forward to bring her own suggestion for the road name at the Monday, Nov. 9 meeting.
“The name Rebel Road has a very controversial connotation, it’s not welcoming to the city of Kyle and the diverse community,” McMahon told the committee. “Changing the name to Dr. Martin Luther King would be symbolic to the existing name and it would bring the community together. Dr. King was a minister; an advocate for equality, inclusion, justice and non-violent peaceful protest.”
While Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard is one of the names moving forward, committee member Anthony Davis questioned the suggestion as it relates to the city of Kyle.
“Isn’t there already a thousand Martin Luther King, Jr. anything in the United States, including the ones already in Austin and San Antonio,” Davis told the committee on Monday, Nov. 16, “This has nothing really to do with Kyle.”
In Hays County, the only city to have a road named after Martin Luther King is San Marcos. Chair Vanessa Westbrook referenced McMahon’s comment that naming the road after Martin Luther King would unite the community more than divide it.
“The speaker [Laura McMahon] also mentioned to us last time that using this particular name a sign of unity and inclusion in regards to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did for the nation as a whole in regards to providing everybody to have access to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” Westbrook said.