State tries to curb practice of naming highways -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State tries to curb practice of naming highways

May 17, 2003

 (Atlanta-AP) -- The General Assembly is trying to put the brakes on naming highways for individuals. But lawmakers still managed to approve name changes for 25 roads, highways, intersections and bridges during this past session.

Georgia has roadways named for Civil War heroes, politicians, civil rights leaders, football coaches, journalists and country music stars, including the Travis Tritt Highway in Paulding County. This year, the House Transportation Committee started new rules intended to clamp down on an unprecedented binge that between 1935 and 2001 saw 600 state roadways named for individuals.

The new regulations require a person to be nationally prominent, deceased or out of office for two years before a roadway can bear his or her name. A change on a local roadway could cost just a few thousand dollars. A proposal a few years ago by the city of Atlanta to change the name of Ashby Street to the Reverend Joseph Lowery Boulevard could have cost the state much more.

A deputy commissioner with the state Department of Transportation, Harold Linnenkohl, says it would have cost as much as $700,000 before modifications reduced the price tag.

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