By Megan Wehring
KYLE — Controversy struck when Rebel Drive was originally going to be renamed to Fajita Drive back in August because several Kyle residents were against the name. Now, the community questions whether West Ranch to Market 150 needs to be renamed at all.
Kyle residents have now turned to social media to propose that the road name should be left as is. While the county is working on an extension to connect RM 150 on the west side of Kyle to Yarrington Road, the city council believes it is best to select a new name to prevent any confusion.
“That will be called West RM 150,” said Steve Clemons, GIS Analyst and staff liason to the naming committee. “The intention of TXDOT is the piece from Center Street, Rebel Drive, and the little stretch of 2770 would probably be called 150 business loop or something like that. Not an ideal name, that’s confusing for a lot of people.”
Since Hays High School retired the ‘Rebel’ mascot in July, the community has also been outspoken about whether the city should wait until a new mascot is created to rename the road. But, the district’s mascot selection process is not expected to start until next year and the city council decided not to wait.
The committee responsible for renaming the portion of West Ranch to Market 150 finalized the eight names that will move forward to the next meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
The following names are moving forward:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
- Silvestre S. Herrera Drive
- Dr. James H. White Drive
- Driftwood Drive
- Freedom Way
- Resilience Drive
- Albert Taylor Street
- Veterans Drive
Albert Taylor Street is one of two names added to the list at the Dec. 2 meeting. Taylor was one of several African American businessmen who owned a cleaning and press shop in downtown Kyle in the 1900s.
Vice Chair Fred Guerra raised his concern about the offensive nature of some names that may be suggested in the future.
“We might come up with a name where that person was alive in the late 1800s, early 1900s,” Guerra said. “If that comes to light, there’s just no way that I’m going to vote for that kind of person. I don’t think Kyle wants a known white nationalist, racist or Confederate individual for that street to be named after a person like that. I think that’s what we are trying to avoid.”
Chair Vanessa Westbrook said her fellow colleagues need to conduct more research to prepare for the next discussion.
“My challenge to you is to go, do a little research on these names to come back and give us a little information about it,” Westbrook told the committee. “This is the time when we are going to get deeper in these discussions. We have to narrow that list down to get to this point of being able to really scrutinize a name to make sure it’s something that we can all be proud to submit to city council.”