Dallas' Chavez Debate Now on S. Central Expressway

Dallas Plan Commission unanimously approves proposal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Cesar Chavez

    Dallas' efforts to rename a street, any street for that matter, after Cesar Chavez are once again moving forward.

    The city now wants to rename South Central Expressway -- the surface street, not the freeway, which is North Central Expressway -- after the civil rights leader.

    Supporters said the street, which is home to the Dallas Farmers Market, is an ideal way to honor Chavez, who dedicated his life to improving working conditions for farm workers.

    The Dallas Plan Commission unanimously recommended a plan Thursday to change the street's name to Cesar Chavez Boulevard, the Dallas Morning News reported. The city is proposing that the stretch of South Central Expressway between Pacific and Grand avenues be renamed for Chavez.

    Central Expressway (again, the street, not the freeway) runs south along the eastern edge of downtown from Pacific Avenue over Interstate 30, under Interstate 45 and finally into southeast Dallas where, at Grand Avenue, it becomes U.S. 175, a.k.a S.M. Wright Freeway.

    Will Fourth Time Be Charm in Naming Street Cesar Chavez?

    [DFW] Will Fourth Time Be Charm in Naming Street Cesar Chavez?
    Some Dallas City Council members are suggesting that part of Central Expressway be renamed for Cesar Chavez.

    The proposal must be approved by the City Council. The council will vote on the item Feb. 10.

    Previous attempts to rename Dallas roadways after Chavez have all failed. In the fall of 2008, despite polling that showed heavy public support for the renaming of Industrial Boulevard after Chavez, that proposal failed and the road was to be renamed Riverside. Additional proposals to rename Ross Avenue and Young Street after Chavez also failed.

    So far, the latest proposal has not caused anywhere near the public outcry heard in previous attempts. This could possibly be credited to this latest solution also offering far less confusion to drivers (and journalists) who may find the similarly named roadways befuddling.

    A meeting to discuss the proposal to rename Central Expressway, the road not the freeway, is planned for 1 p.m. Thursday.

    Chavez, who was born in Yuma, Ariz., in 1927, died in 1993 after co-founding the National Farm Workers Association, an organization that later became the United Farm Workers of America labor union. Since 1999, his March 31 birthday has been observed as Cesar Chavez Day in Texas.

    NBCDFW's Lita Beck contributed to this report.