Last fall, I had the opportunity to be a part of a historical naming of Town Council member Bill Thorpe to the Peace and Justice Plaza to be forever remembered for his beloved service to this town.

I was inspired by something mentioned there by Al McSurely that day.  It is time for the bifurcated Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd signs to come down, he said.  It has been long enough.

Laurin Easthom

Laurin Easthom

I agree with that.  I agree with his suggestion that Bill Thorpe would’ve petitioned the council now to give Martin Luther King Jr. a full sign.  All to himself.  So, I petitioned the council last year to remove the bifurcated signs that say Historical Airport Road and make the whole sign green or brown with Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd solely displayed.

To those who were adverse to the whole name change concept, like many businesses that weren’t happy about having to change their letterheads, I say enough time has passed.  We all know what the name of our major thoroughfare is.  The name is Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Only.  Solely.

The naming of one of our most major streets for Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Chapel Hill is not just like anywhere USA.  Because, to those who live in our community, having his whole name displayed is inclusive and very meaningful in these days and times.

Bill isn’t here.  But, I will remember him by these things that he would have wanted.  The things that are the “right things to do” and that are good for our whole community.  Bill’s son William reminded us that day that Bill felt that council members needed not to hold their seats, but do something good with them.  Respectfully, this might be one good deed well done.

Council takes up this petition in September.

— Laurin Easthom


Have a comment or opinion you would like to share? Submit your commentary or column for the Commentators, on WCHL 97.9FM and