Activist group talks to community about Streetscape project - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Activist group talks to community about Streetscape project

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Marquese Averett is on a mission to make sure that everyone living on or near MLK Jr. Blvd. knows about the city's plan to re-develop that area. Averett is part of a Columbus activist group with the goal to make this area live up to Dr. King's name.

"Dr. King's name is really on streets that truly do not honor him," Averett said.

Averett and members of Young Minority Leaders went door to door passing out information on the facelift that could cost the city millions of dollars.

Annie Capers, who has lived in the area for nearly 20 years, says that she welcomes the change.

"I think it's a good idea to move some of all of this junk off of Martin Luther King," Capers said.

The plan would replace existing sidewalks and add bicycle lanes, more visible pedestrian crosswalks, historical signs near bus stops, and a Black heritage park.

Robert Williams has lived along Martin Luther King Blvd for the last 50 years. He is also looking forward to improvements but doesn't know if he agrees with the proposed lane changes going from four lanes down to three.

"If they make it a three lane, then there are people who may be in a hurry and aren't willing to go for that. If you have a four lane, then people who are in a hurry will have a better chance at getting to where they are going," Williams said.

While the project remains in the planning stages, Averett says he is determined to fight for a change in this once troubled area, making it part of the dream that Dr. King wanted as reality.

"I believe that we should really cherish our history and make sure that the next generation of young people it as well," Averett said.

The next public hearing about the proposed Streetscape project on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd will take place on Thursday at 5:30pm at The Lewis Memorial Baptist Church on Adair Avenue.

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