Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Park Boulevard may become the latest memorial to Bill Young

U.S. Rep. Bill Young’s name would be on “just one or two signs.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Young’s name would be on “just one or two signs.”

The road, one of the county's few east-west corridors, goes by many names.

To Florida transportation officials, it's State Road 694. To locals, the portion east of U.S. 19 is known as Gandy Boulevard. West of 19, it's Park Boulevard.

Soon, it could have a fourth name: Congressman C.W. Bill Young Memorial Highway.

The idea to name the roadway after the longtime congressman was the brainchild of Pinellas Park Mayor Sandy Bradbury. Bradbury said she wished to honor Young, 82, who died in October after 43 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Young grew up in Pinellas Park and retained ties with the city throughout his life. He was instrumental in bringing the C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center, 2801 Grand Ave. N, to the city.

When Bradbury first proposed the idea during a City Council workshop in January, the proposal was to name only that portion of the road lying within the city limits — from the intersection of 28th Street N/Grand Avenue and Gandy, just east of U.S. 19, to a spot just east of the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, 7801 Park Blvd. But after that, the proposal blossomed as Pinellas Park officials contacted Pinellas County and Seminole city officials to get buy-in to rename the sections of the road that were in their jurisdictions. Both agreed to the proposal, and it was sent off to state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, the head of the county's legislative delegation and chair of the Senate transportation committee. If the proposal makes it through the Legislature, the state Department of Transportation will make some signs and schedule a ceremony.

Supporters of the proposal stress that the memorial is just that and not a renaming of the road itself.

"We are not going to change the address of anybody," Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters said.

Although Young has other things named after him, Waters said she doesn't believe adding the memorial name to Park is too much.

"It's justified," she said. "He grew up in Pinellas Park. … He lived in Pinellas Park, so that was kind of his base. His congressional office was in Seminole. … I do think it's a deserved recognition."

Besides, she said, people won't see the signs "every three blocks. It's just one or two signs."

Those will likely be at the Grand-Gandy intersection and the western end of Park — at Indian Shores.

The new name did not come without a bit of controversy. When Bradbury first proposed the idea, her council was not unanimous in its support. The Tampa Bay Times had just written a news article telling of Young's convoluted personal life and a first wife and family that had been relegated to the background. Council member Patti Johnson had referred to the article in wondering if it was appropriate to name Park after him.

But on Monday, Johnson said she had put her objection "to rest" because enough time had passed to allow emotions to cool a bit.

"I'm going along with it," Johnson said. "He did do a lot for everyone. … It was just the timing right then. We needed to take a step back and wait for it to resolve itself."

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @ALindbergTimes on Twitter.

Park Boulevard may become the latest memorial to Bill Young 03/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Allegiant flight makes emergency landing in California after smoke fills cabin

    Airlines

    FRESNO, Calif. — Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at a California airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said.

    This frame from mobile phone video shows smoke inside an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California's Central Valley, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at the airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said. Allegiant said no passengers or any of the six crew members were injured. [Estevan Moreno via AP]
  2. Forecast: Sunny skies, drier air dominate throughout Tampa Bay region

    Weather

    Drier air continues to filter into the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday, with clear skies and a slight chance of light rain during the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Florida education news: Makeup days, graduation honors, sex education and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: Hillsborough County schools will eliminate four early release days to meet minimum state time per course, after missing seven days because of Hurricane Irma. • Indian …

    School classrooms are back up and running after Hurricane Irma. Districts are now setting makeup schedules for time missed.
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  5. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.