Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Drop the ML Jr. from MLK Jr. Way

Why do we now honor folks by renaming streets in their honor with their full names instead of just their last names? It used to be we'd just use the one name: Mercer, Denny, and Yesler are good enough names without anything extra.

True, there can be confusion as to which person is being honored. For example, Safeway in the Roosevelt neighborhood several years ago hung banners with images of both Roosevelt presidents, even though 10th Avenue was renamed Roosevelt Way before Franklin D. became president. (They've since replaced the banners of the later president with banners of the earlier president.) But would you always want to refer to that street as Theodore Roosevelt Way?

So why do we speak of King Way, Brougham Way, and now Martinez Way with Martin Luther Junior, Royal, and Edgar affixed? It's an affront to efficiency.

Not that Seattle has ever been accused of efficiency. . .

It's certainly not the traditional way, either. From now on, take care to call these streets by their simplier monikers. It'll be easier and quicker, too!

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