Oakland Avenue will be renamed FAMU Way as part of a city effort to recognize Florida A&M’s value to the community.
According to Samuel Houston, the director of facilities planning and construction, the renaming of Oakland Avenue to FAMU Way will allow a FAMU presence on Monroe Street for the first time.
FAMU Way will intersect with Monroe Street, a primary urban highway. FAMU Way’s new entrance onto the campus will be a major recognition for the university. Many students, as well as Tallahassee residents, will use the newly labeled road.
“I believe this renaming is appropriate as Oakland Avenue and South Adams Street is a major gateway to the FAMU campus,” said County Commissioner At Large Akin Akinyemi. “This is a great recognition of the significance of FAMU to our community and the contribution it has made to this part of town.”
The idea of renaming the street began with Charles “C.U.” Smith. “Smith, a retired Florida A&M University professor, author and civil rights leader, shared his concern that the FAMU Way name did not extend to a major roadway, such as Monroe Street,” said a press release from the city of Tallahassee.
Steve Shafer, Tallahassee’s city engineer, said, “This will not change the traffic flow in the area. We expect to install the new signs within the next 30 days.”
Replacing the signs will cost no more than $1,000.
Changing the street name will lead to the reconstruction of the road sometime next year.
According to Alison Faris of the city’s communications department, construction is “scheduled to begin in September 2013 and the project will take approximately two years to complete. The FAMU Way Project will be about a $27 million investment.”
When the westward extension is completed, FAMU Way will connect two primary roads, South Monroe Street and Lake Bradford Road.