Monroe Center To Stay Monroe Center

June 24, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners Tuesday nixed plans to rename Monroe Center and also debated rescinding a planned name change of a portion of Monroe Avenue NW.

Commissioners voted last May to change the name of Monroe Center NW, the former pedestrian mall that runs between Pearl Street to Division Avenue, to Monroe Avenue NW, and also to rename a portion of the street known as Monroe Avenue NW, between Pearl and Fulton streets, to Market Avenue NW.

The name changes were to become effective Jan. 1.

Grand Rapids Postmaster Kimberly Goebel requested that city commissioners reconsider the Monroe Center name changes because of the potential confusion and disruption in mail delivery that could result.

The city didn’t hold a public hearing on the name changes to gauge the reaction of the business community prior to approving them, Second Ward Commissioner Rick Tormala pointed out.

Tormala proposed rescinding both name changes.

First Ward Commissioner James Jendrasiak agreed, adding that the naming committee should have contacted all the businesses that would be affected by the changes to determine what the ramifications might be.

“I thought that’s what the naming committee had done, and of course we found out afterward there was a big problem,” he said.

As to the Monroe-to-Market Avenue name change, Mayor John Logie suggested the city talk with businesses to see how many of them may have already made the address changes and could be disadvantaged if the commission suddenly decided not to rename the street.

The commission subsequently scheduled a public hearing on the renaming of Monroe Avenue NW for Nov. 20.

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