City Still Working on Changing Dowling Street’s Name, Street Name Changing Rules

CITY STILL WORKING ON CHANGING DOWLING STREET’S NAME, STREET NAME CHANGING RULES Rendering of Emancipation Park, Dowling St., Third Ward, HoustonThe renaming of Dowling St. to Emancipation Ave. is taking a little longer than the 10 weeks initially planned by the city planning commission, Mike Morris notes this week (now that that floated November 6 renaming ceremony date has come and gone). The final votes to formalize the name change are still coming up; the mayor and city council have also been rethinking the rules on how to change street names, which currently require a written OK from 75 percent of the property owners along a public street. Fewer than half of Dowling St.’s property owners initially signed on to the change,  though that percentage is skewed by the fact that many absentee owners couldn’t be reached at all, according to state rep Garnet Coleman. Morris writes that the proposed rule updates just require “sufficient” support for a name change to go through; the renaming of Dowling is moving forward under the new rules as a trial run before the city approves the rules officially. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of in-progress Emancipation Park redo on Dowling St.: Phil Freelon

11 Comment

  • “sufficient support”……ok. Good on the government to come up with a completely arbitrary way to ram whatever changes they want down our throat. Cool, cool.

    What’s wrong with getting 75% approval? Oh, it didn’t work……must change rules to push forward agenda. Nice!

  • Rules, schmules. We need feel good actions NOW!

  • How much support do we need to change the name of the city?

  • “Sufficient support” is a ridiculous standard. Why don’t we just set it at 2%? That way, we can change street names every month with that low bar.

  • I believe the standard should be “a preponderance of support”!

  • Typical government bullshit. “Let’s make some rules that everyone has to follow… except us.” Who’s idea was it to change that street name anyway? That’s shit’s expensive…. Think how much valuable city government time has been wasted already on that boondoggle… not to mention the actual financial cost of changing all of those street signs… and the additional costs pushed onto the affected property owners, business owners, etc, etc.

    And the name is stupid anyway. Emancipation Ave? What exactly does that street have to do with anyone’s Emancipation? It’s actually kind of offensive to that particular community. Did anyone at the city actually ASK anyone over there if they wanted that name change? My guess is NO.

    Every city has to have an MLK… and a JFK… and now a Caesar Chavez–and even a Harvey Milk street. It’s just so stupid. Because changing a street name doesn’t change anything. How about spending all of that energy and all of that money actually IMPROVING the street and the neighborhood. It’s full of potholes and burned out / abandoned businesses. Does that city think that changing the name to something loftier than Dowling is going to fix those problems?

  • Sure sign that gentrification is changing gears is when guilt-based symbolism appears.

  • Dowling was one heck of a cannon shooter, a first-generation Irish immigrant, first-rate saloon keeper and a fellow who was defending his State (which at the time was more important than National identity). Do-gooders will need to look at also re-naming Tuam Street which is named in his honor as his birthplace. Think of the “trickle-down” possibilities to all of Houston’s street names! Travis, Fannin, Milam, Austin, Smith, even Houston itself!

  • I know to get rid of the Montrose Management District they had to get 75% of the owners to sign a petitiion. Getting 75% to agree on anything is hard. But getting 75% to agree *AND* track them down to sign is damn near impossible.
    .
    But the group fighting the management district managed to do it.
    .
    Though that didn’t stop them from continuing to operate as normal….
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    So when the government wants to make the change, and the requirement is too hard, they just ignore it and make up benchmarks like “sufficient”. But when the PEOPLE want to make a change, they enforce to the letter the hurdles. And in some cases (like MMD), even when the hurdle is met it’s ignored.
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    Shit like this drives me crazy. It’s why I’m not upset about Trump winning even though I didn’t vote for him.

  • I also don’t like the name Emancipation Avenue. And something else, I don’t hear anyone suggesting that the name of Washington Avenue be changed. George Washington was a slaveowner, along with some other early U.S. Presidents. Where does one draw the line?

  • Not sure how much of his Wikipedia article is true (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_W._Dowling), but assuming most of it is….he was himself the victim of discrimination (anti-Irish) in New Orleans, which propelled him to move to Houston to escape it. He was a founding member of many business associations and a prominent proprietor of Houston’s social scene. Up until his participation in the Civil War, he was quite the example of an immigrant’s success in the American dream.

    In the grand scheme of things, no street names are sacred. A while back, they renamed Battleground Road to “Independence Parkway” out near La Porte – no good reason being given at the time. In 100 years, all the MLK streets will probably be renamed in honor of someone else.