Miami Gardens won’t be renaming US 441 after President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama. The busy thoroughfare is not worthy enough.
Anchored by a Wal-Mart and dozens of Caribbean restaurants, 441 will not bear the first couple’s names because it is too encumbered with other names, explained Councilman David Williams Jr.
The state road is also known as Northwest Second Avenue and State Road 7.
In order to rename a street in Miami Gardens, city rules require a unanimous council vote. Councilmen Williams and Rodney Harris cast the no votes.
Concerned that residents and the media would think Miami Gardens did not want to name a street after the Obamas, Mayor Oliver Gilbert assured that the city will consider another route for the president that is more suitable.
“Lord knows he’ s worthy,” said Gilbert. “We will name a road after him.
Nearby Opa-locka, and a few other cities in Florida have roads named after the president. But Miami Gardens would be the first to name a street after the president and his wife, said Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro, who proposed the renaming.
While the Obamas are left without a street in Miami Gardens for now, the council did approve a measure to rename Northwest 175 Street between 12th and 27th avenues after local pastor G. David Horton.
Horton is a pastor at Greater New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and community activist. The majority of residents who attended Wednesday night’s meeting were parishioners and supporters of Horton’s.
Those who spoke on his behalf described Horton as a selfless and giving member of the community for more than 30 years.
“Dr. Horton is a man of honor,” said Joyce Jones, a member of Greater New Bethel.
A third proposal to consider renaming a portion of Northwest 199 Street after Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political leader, was postponed for a later date.
The sudden street designations caused some in the audience to caution the council that other churches and members of the community may soon be asking City Hall to name streets after them.
“I feel that it is a floodgate that will open up,” said Ulysses Harvard, a former councilman who asked the council to create rules that would establish who can be nominated for a street renaming.
Miami Gardens considers all street renaming proposals on a case-by-case basis, but Mayor Gilbert told the audience: “Don’t you all go tell your pastors come and get a road. This is not that type of party.”