Voters in Kansas City decided on Tuesday to change a street back to its original name after the City Council voted in January to name it in honor of the late civil rights hero, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Just two months after the name change took effect in February, a group calling itself Save the Paseo has gathered the signatures necessary to get a measure to restore the original name on the ballot. Unofficial results show the vote to remove King's name received nearly 70% of the Tuesday's vote, with just over 30% voting to retain King's name. The name Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be changed back to The Paseo, inspired by Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma. Mayor Quinton Lucas – who introduced the resolution to name the road in honor of King as a councilman, said the way the issue was handled had been "less than ideal." The 10-mile stretch of the boulevard runs north to south through a largely black area of the city.
People who voted to change back returning the street to its old name say this was not intended to disrepect King. “All of us want to see Dr. King honored, but what we didn’t want to happen was see our voices taken away entirely.”