That’s the question being asked by Sid Burgess on Twitter tonight as part of a discussion on Mayor Mick Cornett’s push to name the new boulevard that will replace the current alignment of Interstate 40 in Core to Shore south of downtown. Cornett’s choice is “Oklahoma City Boulevard,” and he discouraged a public discussion of it when the name was questioned at a recent city council meeting (he indicated he could explain in private, after the council meeting, his research and expertise in coming up with such branding).
So far I’ve not heard a lot of excitement for this name. But Sid, who says he’s OK with the name, wonders what methodology is used. To be blunt, from what I’ve seen over the past 20 years, nothing (somebody correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve seen street names used by council members to virtually curry favor with campaign contributors or folks who can rally votes on an election. I’ve seen streets named after entertainers to varying degrees of success (Flaming Lips Alley, Joe Carter Avenue, etc). I’ve seen virtually meaningless redundant street namings (quick: tell me, without cheating, where Ron Norick Boulevard is located).
I’ve asked before on this blog, is the will of one person, even the mayor, no matter how well intentioned, enough to say “don’t worry about this street naming, don’t ask for other candidates, just vote yes”? Should there be a public discussion on this matter, especially in light of the suggestion by many that this boulevard will take on increased importance to the city’s image as the area develops?
Should there be… (gasp!) a process?