Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Mesa honors King with street naming

MESA, AZ - Mesa is marking Martin Luther King Day with a parade and other celebrations.

But the highlight this year is the completion of a project the city's MLK Committee has worked on for several years: the unveiling of a street named after King.

The decision to rename 3rd Place as Martin Luther King Jr. Way came during a Mesa City Council meeting in December.

There is a lot of symbolic important to renaming third place.

John Goodie says back in the 1950's, there was a segregated park and swimming pool on the street corner, for Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics.

"The city of Mesa has come a long way and it's a great city with great people," said Goodie.

Goodie has been a supporter and advocate of getting the street renamed.

"To have a segregated pool no longer there, on the same corner where we had our first festival 21 years ago, where the parade now starts from every year, is the icing on the cake," said Goodie.

Officials with the city's transportation department said Monday the new signs have been placed along MLK Way from North Center Street to North Centennial Way.

The new signs will coexist with the old 3rd Place signs for one year, and the change isn't expected to affect any residents or businesses.

Mesa Councilor Chris Glover says the street now represents a movement that helped change the character of the country and inspire the world.

"It wasn't chance that this sign ended it up where it did. It carries a lot of meaning to a lot of people," said Mayor Smith.

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