Despite Change, Gene Stipe's Name Remains On Mcalester Road Signs

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 5:54 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- McAlester city officials are complaining that state highway signs still refer to a city street by its former name -- that of a retired state senator -- and not the street's new name.

The McAlester City Council had changed the street name in 1990 to Gene Stipe Boulevard, in honor of the longtime lawmaker. But last December, acting on a citizen petition, the council changed the name of the street back to Electric Avenue.

The main exit signs for the street off US Highway 69 still bear Stipe's name, and McAlester Mayor Don Lewis says he wonders why the Oklahoma Department of Transportation hasn't changed the signs.

David Smith, the regional engineer for the state transportation department, says it's common practice for a city that changes a street name to pay for the cost of posting new highway signs.

State Senator Richard Lerblance of Hartshorne says he has arranged for the signs to be replaced at a cost of about $3,000.