Valdosta woman gets street named after late father

Mayor addresses Forrest Street renaming controversy

Valdosta Street Renaming

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A Valdosta woman said she was at a loss for words after the city council voted to change the name of her street in honor of her late father.

Valdosta City Council approved the change of Jackson Street Lane to Sam Bivins Lane — a move Jewel Perry said she wishes her father was here to see.

“Oh, I was overjoyed, just overjoyed," Perry, the lone resident on the newly renamed street, said.

Perry said that for years now she has been hoping to rename her street, because of the constant issues with her mail.

“I kept getting mail from the surrounding neighborhoods and streets and they were getting my mail," Perry said. " It got kind of hard playing the mailman."

The issue stemmed from her street rounding the corner and once going by a different name.

Perry figured the best option was to change the name of the street.

Perry said her father built her house and her street decades ago.

If you say Sam Bivins, everybody says, ‘Oh yeah, well we know where Sam Bivins lived. Yeah, we can tell you where the house, we’ll show you where the house is,'"
Perry said.

Street renaming controversy in Valdosta

City officials said they are glad to have assisted in the process, despite the recent controversy with the possible renaming of Forrest Street to Barack Obama Boulevard.

“We’re always glad to honor and we have no problem with street name changes," John Gayle, Valdosta mayor, said. “We just have a certain process that council has adopted and I have to enforce that ordinance.”

Forrest Street in Valdosta
Forrest Street in Valdosta (Source: WALB)

Since the Forrest Street rename has stalled, WALB asked Gayle about what message he thinks this approval without any opposition sends.

“All we’re asking for is anybody who wanted that to do the due diligence that’s required by ordinances that we’ve set," the mayor said.

Members of the group hoping to get the name changed were in attendance at this meeting.

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