Where The Streets Should Have No Name

There’s a custom in North Texas that I’m told is fairly unique to the area: where the major highways and interstates are called by both their numerical designations (I-35, 183, Loop 12) and the “given name” of the road, bestowed in honor of the locally and nationally famous (Stemmons, John Carpenter, Walton Walker). This confuses the hell out of people new to the area at first, which is why I try to include both the official name and the honorific.

When the stretch of I-30 between Dallas and Fort Worth was given the moniker of “Tom Landry Freeway,” I didn’t give it much thought. Landry was a deity in most circles of the Metroplex, and it was a cool way to honor his memory (especially since Jerry Jones was damned sure not going to rename Texas Stadium).

But I saw something this morning that almost made me spit my macchiato all over my windshield:

Apparently, part of I-20 is now going to be called the “Ronald Reagan Memorial Freeway.

I’m sorry, but what ties did Reagan have with the area? Anything at all? The other honorariums went to people with history in the region, and that extends to the blue-blood Bush The First. This just smacks of insipid pandering. (And I wish to Christ I didn’t have to drive on that stretch of road, but work sometimes demands it. )

From here on out, if legislators want to rename a piece of road, it should at least be left up to a public vote — with the explanation of how much the nae change will cost taxpayers in new signage and so forth.

1 Comment so far

  1. Brian (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

    Well he was a republican…whose economic policy definitely helped the rich get richer…perhaps that is it. Or maybe whoever decided to name that part of 20 just loved jelly beans and since Interstate Jelly Beans sounds silly Ronald Regan Memorial Highway was a more legit sounding reference to their favorite candy.

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