Airport Road will be renamed
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


This change will take effect on May 8, 2005,
which marks the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit to Chapel Hill. A Dedication Celebration is being planned!

The Town of Chapel Hill intends to assist persons affected by the street renaming by coordinating automatic addressing changes among utilities and agencies, and by providing information to make the transition easier. This web page will be updated to assist with questions and respond to issues. If your questions are not answered in the links below, please contact Catherine Lazorko, Town information officer, at clazorko@townofchapelhill.org or 919/968-2743.

 

The Renaming  -  Frequently Asked Questions  -  Address Change Checklist  -  Map

The Celebration  For Residents of the Current Martin Luther King Jr. Street

 

 

 


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The Renaming

The Chapel Hill Town Council approved on Dec. 6, 2004, a special committee’s primary recommendation to change the name of Airport Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and also have separate street signs underneath with the designation “Historic Airport Road.” 

The Town Council encouraged considerable public comment on the renaming proposal. Public forums were held in 2004 on April 19, May 24 and June 14.

The Council voted to establish a committee to consider the creation of memorials to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The review process was assisted by Open Source Leadership Strategies Inc., a group of facilitators who met with committee members at meetings held Nov. 4-5, and Nov. 20, 2004. They issued a report and recommendations to the Council in December.

The Council received additional recommendations from the committee, including assisting individuals along Airport Road who will be impacted by the renaming. Other suggestions are to create a room at the Chapel Hill Public Library with a collection of materials honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights in Chapel Hill. The committee recommended supporting a museum exhibit about Airport Road and honoring Martin Luther King Jr. with information signs saying “Peace, Racial, and Economic Justice.” It also suggested establishing a branch of the library in the African American community. The committee urged the community to address racial and power issues in Chapel Hill by creating a racial justice commission/task force.

There is additional, detailed information online about this renaming process.

 


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Frequently Asked Questions
 

Why is the Town changing the name of Airport Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.?
Chapel Hill is a town that prides itself as being a champion of justice and equality and a leader for reform in those areas. A street named for Martin Luther King Jr. honors the life and contributions of America’s greatest champion of racial justice and equality, the leader who not only dreamed of a color-blind society, but who also led a movement that achieved historic reforms to help make it a reality.


Who made this decision and what was the process?
The Town Council renamed Airport Road after a series of public meetings and extensive dialogue on the proposal, which was brought forth in January 2004. In June 2004, the Council created a Special Committee to Consider Renaming Airport Road and to develop recommendations for appropriate memorials to Dr. King. The committee included members of the Council, the NAACP, residents and business owners of Airport Road, a diverse group of citizens at large, and persons familiar with the history of the community. A facilitator was engaged in an intensive process that included interviews with members of the committee, a two-day workshop and discussion session, and a half-day follow-up session. In January 2005, the Council approved the committee’s recommendation to rename Airport Road.


How many people will this affect?  
There are more than 850 Airport Road street addresses.
 

What should they do to prepare?
It is the responsibility of the property owner or resident to change all mail correspondence, magazines, stationery, checks, business cards, signs or any other items that use Airport Road in the street address. The best and easiest time to notify magazines of your change of address is when you are sending a bill payment (check the change of address box then). 


When will the change take effect?
The official renaming date is May 8, 2005, which marks the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit to Chapel Hill. An Observances Committee currently is forming to develop the logistics of appropriate observances and ceremonies to recognize the road name change. 


Can I change my address before May 8?
This is not recommended.


Will the numbers of my street address change?
Only the street name will change, not the numbers of individual addresses.
 

Will my zip code change?
No.
 

Can I use MLK Blvd. as an abbreviation?
Yes.


Do I need to file change of address forms with the post office and myriad other agencies?
You will not be required to file a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service, which will be making automatic record changes to addresses. Many utilities and public agencies also are working with the Town of Chapel Hill to make changes to their records. The Council’s goal is to relieve the burden of address change notifications. Wherever possible, the Town is working with agencies to make automatic updating possible.
 

Do I have to update deeds?
No, deeds are unaffected by address changes. Deeds of trust use property and land descriptions rather than addresses.


Who am I responsible for notifying?
Upon request by the Town, many utilities and governmental agencies are able to make automatic changes to their records so that you won’t have to complete address change forms. In addition to this list, you also may wish to notify friends and customers, schools, banks, etc.


What will happen if someone sends something to my old address after May 8?
This mail will be forwarded to your new address.


How long will the U.S. Postal Service forward my mail?
Mail will be forwarded for a period of one year after the effective renaming date.


Will the Town help pay me for the costs of new stationery, checks and the like?
State law permits the expenditure of public money for public purposes only. Direct assistance to private entities has been found by our courts to not be an acceptable means to affect a public purpose. However, the Town is taking steps to reduce some of the impacts of the address change on residents and businesses located along now-Airport Road.  The Town is engaging in a general campaign using local media, the Town’s cable channel and the Town’s website to inform the public of the upcoming street renaming and address changes.  The Town also is seeking assistance from various utilities and agencies to make automatic address changes.


Do I have to notify utility companies? How about the Department of Motor Vehicles?
The following companies are able to make automatic changes to their records: OWASA, Duke Power, PSNC Energy, BellSouth and Time Warner Cable. The Department of Motor Vehicles requests that Airport Road address holders complete a change of address form. This form will automatically update addresses on Driver’s Licenses and Vehicle Registrations. By completing this card, you will not be required to apply for a new license until it expires.


Will delivery companies such as UPS, Federal Express and others be able to find me?
Yes, these delivery companies have been notified of the street renaming and will update their records
.  
 

Will 911 responders be able to locate me in the event of an emergency?
Yes, the Emergency Response System of Orange County will be updated to reflect the address change.
 

Will any portion of the street remain Airport Road?
Airport Road extends nearly four miles from its intersection with North Street in downtown Chapel Hill to its intersection with the I-40 ramps at the northern Town limits.   This entire portion will be renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The Town will replace the Airport Road street name signs and will also add supplemental signs with the designation “Historic Airport Road.” 

 
Will the new Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. affect a section of Columbia Street?
No.  However, the Council decided that, because Town Hall has entrances on both Airport Road and Columbia Street, it would be appropriate change the Town Hall address from Columbia Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard so that it would be included with the renaming issues that so many residents and businesses will be undergoing this spring. The Council felt that it would be fitting for the hub of local government in Chapel Hill to have a Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard address. Town Hall embodies the community forum where people come together to consider the pressing issues of the day, and work to find understanding, consensus and cooperation. 


Which departments in Town government will have new addresses?

Many of the departments to undergo an address change are those located in Town Hall, which will become 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. These departments are the Mayor and Council, Town Manager, Town Clerk, Engineering, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Planning and Inspections. Other Town departments that will change addresses are Fire Station No. 1 at 401 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Police Department at 828 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Public Works Department at 1099 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and Transportation Department at 1089 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
 

What will happen to the street in Chapel Hill that now is named Martin Luther King Jr. Street?
The residents of the existing Martin Luther King Jr. Street have selected "Jackie Robinson Street" as their new street name. The renaming will be completed in conjunction with the renaming of Airport Road so that there will be no duplicate street names.

 


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Address Change Checklist

 

Area to Notify

Address Change Automatic

Resident Must Notify

 

 

 

U.S. Postal Service

3

 

911 Emergency Response

3

 

BellSouth

3

 

OWASA

3

 

Duke Power

3

 

PSNC Energy

3

 

Department of Motor Vehicles

 

3
The Department of Motor Vehicles requests that Airport Road address holders complete a change of address card. This card will automatically update addresses on Driver’s Licenses and Vehicle Registrations. By completing this card, you will not be required to apply for a new license until it expires.  Persons who will be affected by this address change have been mailed this card. If you did not receive one, email clazorko@townofchapelhill.org
 

Time Warner Cable

3

 

Orange County
Revenue Department

3

 

Orange County
Board of Elections

3

 

Town of Chapel Hill

 

3

 

Social Security
 

 

3
http://www.ssa.gov/changeaddress.html
 

Internal Revenue Service

 

3
http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc157.html

NC Department of Revenue

 

 

3
http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/individual/address.html

 

 


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The Celebration

The Chapel Hill Town Council established an Observances Committee to organize and develop the logistics of appropriate observances and ceremonies to recognize the road name change of Airport Road to Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. The celebration is scheduled for May 8, 2005. 

The Observances Committee comprises the following members: Mayor pro tem Edith Wiggins, Council Member Sally Greene, Fred Battle, NAACP member; Jill Edens, Airport Road member; Virginia Knapp, Chamber of Commerce member; Creighton Irons, University member; At-Large members Justin Coleman, Jesse Gibson, Bishop Hatley, Mae McLendon, Eleanor Murray and Catherine Lazorko.
 

 


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For Residents of the Current Martin Luther King Jr. Street

The Council Naming Committee worked to engage in the renaming process the residents of the Colony Woods West neighborhood, which encompasses Martin Luther King Jr. Street. In a door-to-door survey, residents from about 30 homes in the neighborhood provided suggestions for new street names. Residents from 12 homes on Martin Luther King Jr. Street then were asked to narrow this list and select their top three choices. On April 5, 2005, the residents selected "Jackie Robinson Street" as their top choice.

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