Debate for Michigan Road name change continues

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Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - A new twist earlier story about the battle to rename Michigan Road after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Proponents want to extend MLK street all the way to 96th street. Opponents say they'd rather honor King another way.

At the 421 Barbershop, customers get a trim, but it's talk of change that's cutting close to the quick.

"The people of this community upheld the agenda of Martin Luther King," said Jo Ann Franklin, President of Fox Hill Manor Civic Association.

As president of the Fox Hill Manor Civic Association one of four neighborhood associations that make up the Michigan Road corridor, Franklin wants to make it clear her organization wants change.

In this case, extending Dr Martin Luther King street all the way up to 96th street renaming what is now Michigan Road.

"We believe not only honor but indicative of the people. Not just black people but white. This is a very diverse community," says Franklin.

She joined other proponents Saturday to make that clear to reporters in response to a special Eyewitness News report, "Driving the Dream."

In that report, Darren Palmer Vice President of C-4, the collective organization that represents four neighborhood groups including Fox Manor told Eyewitness News he is personally against renaming the road in favor of a "memorial Way" that would honor King with plaques and historical markers along Michigan Road.

"I don't think Dr King would have wanted to step on 200 years of history to promote himself," said Palmer.

"Our association believes renaming is the right thing to do," says Franklin.

While there's been casual conversation in places like barber shops, Franklin says so far there's
been no "official" vote by neighborhood leaders.

So the bitter battle continues a proposal meant to unite a community instead divides it further
driving a dream into a roadblock. 

There is at least one petition drive underway along Michigan Road, those in favor of the name change say they've collected one thousand signatures.