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The Paseo officially becomes Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Crews will begin work Monday to rename The Paseo after Martin Luther King Jr.

Kansas City’s city council voted Jan. 24th in an 8-4 vote in favor of renaming the street after nearly a year of debating.

The first sign signaling the name change will be installed Monday at 10 a.m. at 34th and The Paseo.

It will take nearly three months for crews to update all of the street signs along the 9.9-mile stretch of road.  The project will cost approximately $60,000.

Councilperson Quinton Lucas introduced the ordinance to rename The Paseo to “Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard” this past fall. Since the ordinance’s introduction, the vote was delayed five times.

The debate prior to the vote was heated at times with voices rising and several council members sharing conflicting viewpoints.

Kansas City was one of the only large American cities without a street renamed for the civil rights icon. There is a park named after King. But some community members said that’s not enough.

Some of the other suggestions were to rename 63rd Street or the new KCI terminal building for King. Neither of those ideas gained much support.

There have been previous attempts to rename a street for King in Kansas City.

In 2011, Councilman Jermaine Reed spearheaded an effort to rename Prospect Avenue for King. That movement failed to gain enough traction. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver confirms there was a similar push to rename Prospect in 1975 that also fell short.

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