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West Jeff Davis Ave. soon to be T.H. Randall Ave.

Published: Sep. 5, 2012 at 11:35 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2012 at 11:35 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Johnny White has lived on West Jeff Davis Avenue for nearly 30 years.

"Most of the people that live on this street is for the change. He was my principal," White said.

A member of the graduating class of 1961, white says he remembers Thomas H. Randall's dedication to the students at Loveless School and the community.

"He really would represent the area," White said.

Now West Jeff Davis Avenue from South Court Street to Hill Street will soon bear his initials and last name.

"I think it will be good, you now, they changed Rosa Parks, they changed Gouge Street to E.D. Nixon. So give him a chance to," West Jeff Davis Avenue resident JoAnn Glover said.

But the decision didn't come without controversy.

"Since I've been on, we've had two major blowups over the renaming of streets," Montgomery City Councilman District 7 Arch Lee said.

The city council battled it out.

Councilmen Arch Lee and Richard Bollinger said the majority all of the people who live on the avenue didn't sign the petition.

"A dangerous precedent if we have less than 50% of the people actually responding. So I thought it should not be changed because we didn't hear from all the people," Bollinger said.

Lee says it's a big undertaking for the city and businesses.

"And it's a very expensive process to change, not only for the city to change signs, EMS and fire and police, but then you got everybody and every business on their; driver's license, checking accounts, billing," Lee said.

City officials say each street sign assembly cost about $100. There are 18 street signs so that's about $1800, but these residents say it's worth it.

Councilman Burkette proposed this ordinance and says there were at least an additional 100 signatures obtained after the last council meeting, some of which came from Mount Zion AME Church which is located on West Jeff Davis Avenue.

The city clerk says the mayor has ten days to turn in the ordinance, then the change has to be advertised and workers will start changing signs shortly thereafter.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.