911 administrators raise concerns about renaming University Parkway in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Washington County Tennessee 911 officials say they are hesitant on renaming a stretch of University Parkway in Johnson City because of public safety concerns.

911 Administrators tell News Channel 11, they are worried that people in the community would be confused by the name change especially in times of emergency situations .

The stretch of University Parkway from Market street to W State of Franklin is a very busy thoroughfare in johnson city, that’s why members of the NAACP want to see Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s name put here.

“The work that he did to bring people together all over this world is worthy of recognition,” Johnson City- Washington County NAACP President said.

Johnson City leaders have another option, Kings Street in downtown Johnson City. NACCP President Ralph Davis doesn’t support this idea.

“It seems like they have decided which street, they want to use and we are not for that street simply because its not in a high visibility area,” Davis said.

About 8 years ago that stretch of University Parkway used to be named “Tennessee Street”

Officials with Washington County 911 say they are concerned people might be confused about where they are if the road name changes again.

On top of that there would be mass address changes that will have to happen for people living in the community. Davis says city leaders told him about 200 or more address would have to change if the road would be renamed.

Finally, a public safety concern for those who may be in distress or need help and not give the proper address for 911 to dispatch help in a timely fashion.

Ashley Tetrick has lived on university parkway for a little over a year. while she doesn’t have a problem with the name change she anticipates an adjustment period if the change happens.

“I would hope it wouldn’t cause that much confusion but maybe initially that could be an issue,” Tetrick said.

Meanwhile Davis says the debate on which street will actually be named in honor of Dr. King continues.

The task force plans to meet sometime next week. During that meeting members hope to talk with county 911 administrators about their concerns.

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