Cleveland, OH

City of Cleveland Secondary Street Name Sign Requirements Revisited by Curious Citizens

Brown on Cleveland
Secondary Street Sign Located in Cleveland, OHThe Brown Report Newspaper (Photo)

Cleveland, OH. - The City of Cleveland neighborhoods are filled with secondary streets named signs. The signs are placed as an act of reverence to individuals and groups who have significantly impacted the city. Councilmembers from each Cleveland Ward can recognize two entities for a one-block secondary street named sign every four years during their elected term.

As per the public records request regarding secondary street signs, the nominating council member must apply to City Council Street Naming Committee. The process can take up to 4 to 6 weeks. The council member must complete an application, a biographical summary of the person/organization being considered, and the required amount of signatures (70%) from homeowners if the request is made for a residential street. According to the application process, "organizations must have been in operation for at least 25 years, be based in the City, be of significant importance to the city, and have performed exemplary service or considerable achievement of lasting impact."

At times there have been sparked against who is eligible for a secondary street. There was a council separation when several council members wanted to honor Don King in 2016. Former Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell proposed the "Don King Way" for Cedar Avenue. While Former Councilmember Jeff Johnson stated this proposal is making our city look like a joke across the world." King is a former boxing promoter and owner of the Call and Post Newspaper. He was said to have stomped a man to death. King was imprisoned for his death. City council members disapproved of the sign.

In 2019, there was another memorable controversy regarding a secondary street sign proposal. Members of the Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County collected signatures from 90% of the residents on Cloverside Avenue in Cleveland WARD One proposing a secondary street sign for a 9-year-old girl killed by a stray bullet as she sat in the back seat of her mom's vehicle. The city denied the request stating that the girl did not reside in the City of Cleveland and that she was too young to have contributed to the town.

Recently, television personality Leon Bibb was granted a secondary street sign on 105th and Parkgate in Cleveland's WARD 9. Councilman Kevin Conwell completed the process, and Bibb was granted. "This honorary street name designation will continue for a period of ten (10) years, after which the designation will cease," as per the honorary street name guideline.

"We were interested in this process - how it works. We wanted to know the process because we have many newly added street signs. Our church wanted to inquire if our pastor qualified. We are curious," commented Judy Johnson of Cleveland.

Interested parties can contact their Cleveland City Council members for proposals and requests at 216.664.2840.

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"Brown On Cleveland" features podcast host, licensed social worker, and social justice activist Kimberly F. Brown. Former talk show host with WOVU.95fm. Brown is the Chief Administrator of The Brown Report Newspaper. Brown experience is with investigative reporting.

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