Street signage at the intersection of 17th St. (also known as Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dr.) and Poyntz Ave. (Photo by Derek Simmons/KMAN)

A name change for a Manhattan street will honor a late civil rights leader.
The Manhattan City Commission Tuesday officially approved renaming 17th St. to Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. during its meeting Tuesday,
While the decision was made unanimously, it has faced some opposition.
Daniel Bosch, a 17th St. resident, says the change could affect someone’s ability to receive mail, navigate the city and address envelopes.
“I sat there and counted and there’s 23 characters in the name,” Bosch said. “What do I abbreviate it to, just MLK? Or do I put the zip code 66502 dash four digits plus the name at the top? Theoretically that’ll get it there. I don’t write so good but by the time I got done, it would take an oversized envelope to get the name on it.”

Street signage at the intersection of 17th St. and Fort Riley Blvd. (Photo by Derek Simmons/KMAN)

He suggested the city instead memorialize King by renaming a public gathering space, such as a park or city square.
Commissioner Aaron Estabrook says since K-State was the last university King spoke at before his assassination, Manhattan has a unique opportunity.
“Some places rename their streets to honor people who have maybe never even set foot down them,” Estabrook said. “But Dr. King does have a legacy that is tied to that street.”
City staff estimate it will take about six to eight weeks to order and replace signage along the street. The estimated cost is around $8,800.

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