Saturday 24 August 2019

Which former US president has had a road named after him in Los Angeles?

The naming ceremony honoured Barack Obama.

The unveiling of the Obama Boulevard sign (Damian Dovarganes/AP)
The unveiling of the Obama Boulevard sign (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A stretch of road in Los Angeles has been renamed after former US president Barack Obama.

A concert and ceremony unveiled Obama Boulevard.

The street replaced Rodeo Road, a three and a half mile street that runs across the city’s historic black neighbourhood.

It also intersects with Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and further establishes a “presidential row” that includes (George) Washington, (John) Adams and (Thomas) Jefferson boulevards.

“I get to live in a lifetime where we elected our first black president,” the Reverend Russell Thornhill of South Los Angeles told KABC TV.

“I get to share that with my mother, who’s 92 years old who voted and actually went to the inauguration.

“I called her before I came here to let her know what I was doing, and she was just in tears because she was seeing in her lifetime … the naming of a street of the first black president in this community.”

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti noted at Saturday’s ceremony that Obama Boulevard is in a section of the city that has a number of other streets named after presidents, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“As we drive through this city and we see past presidents on Adams, on Washington, on Jefferson, now we’ll have one that was in our lifetime, who was a president for everybody: Barack Hussein Obama,” Mr Garcetti said.

A couple who proposed the name change told the Times they wanted to raise the profile of the road, attract more funding for the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighbourhood and honour the 44th president.

“With this change, we are publicly documenting what Obama’s legacy as our nation’s first black President means to our city and our South Los Angeles community,” City council president Herb Wesson said in a statement.

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A woman holds a banner of the Obama Boulevard (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

“For every child who will drive down this street and see the president’s name, this will serve as a physical reminder that no goal is out of reach and that no dream is too big.”

While residents were receptive to having a street named after Mr Obama, some believed organisers should have chosen a more prominent street.

Mr Wesson argued Rodeo Road was symbolically important.

The road is home to Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, where Mr Obama held a campaign rally when he was running for president in 2007.

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