United Avenue tops new names for Confederate Avenue

Debate over renaming street for Confederate veterans continues

ATLANTA — Atlanta city leaders listened Thursday evening to people who want Confederate Avenue renamed.

Channel 2's Richard Elliot spent the day speaking with people and businesses along the road. All of them said they fully support the name change.

“Just to keep the peace, it would be better to change the name,” said Jasmine Dixon, of Conyers, who had brought her family to Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park.

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Dixon told Elliot that she heard about the controversy surrounding Confederate Avenue and thinks changing it to something else would probably be a good thing.

“I think to make everyone happy and to make it fair, I think it should be something else, something different, because it could be problematic for other people,” Dixon said.

Linda Sharp, who has owned The Lark and Sparrow Salon for about four years, admits she’s never been comfortable with the Confederate name.

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“I’ve always not been comfortable with it and have been supportive of the change from the start. So I think (I) will feel a lot more comfortable telling people our address with the new name,” Sharp said.

The street is in the middle of Atlanta City Council member Carla Smith’s district.

She told Elliot that a city commission recommended changing the name last year after the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and street names began.

She’s happy to push the name change process forward.

“People have been talking about this for years, and it was just like the stars aligned and everything is coming together,” Smith said.

More than 50 percent of the people along Confederate support the name change, and the name United Avenue tops the list of prospective replacements.

“I think that’s a good name,” Dixon said.

However, some told Channel 2 Action News they have concerns about erasing history and the cost of implementation.

A public hearing on the issue is set for next Tuesday morning at City Hall.

There are still some bureaucratic hoops the city must jump through to complete the name change, but they’re hoping to have the renaming ready by Jan. 21, 2019, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.