Citizens Join Together for Petition to Keep North Avenue Name

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Wednesday, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to North Avenue businesses detailing some of the ways they can find discounts as North Avenue changes to University Boulevard. Also on Wednesday, a group formed to rescind the ordinance to change the street's name.

"We sent out the letter today saying this is how we can help you with this. We're looking at working with some sign companies in terms of if you have delivery vehicles, how we can help with wraps and that sort of thing" said Diane Schwenke, president of the Grand Junction area Chamber of Commerce.

For Schwenke, the change is a business opportunity to build a brand off of the intitution already in town.

"A name change is not going to rebitalize North Avenue overnight," said Schwenke, "But, it's a small step towards working on that much greater picture of making that a vibrant corridor that potentially could benfit from the growth of the Unvierstity and the growth of the economy as a whole."

Other community members, don't see the change as Schwenke does. They're working to create an official petition to get the change on the ballot for citizens to vote on.

"People were concerned about the history of our community the expense to our community and folks that outright thought it was silly." said Mackenzie Dodge, a community organizer behind creating the Facebook page for the group.

Dodge says, growing up here, the name isn't about the road's original meaning as Grand Junction's northern border, but the memories created on the street.

"A lot of folks in the community that grew up here, that lived here their whole lives, they have history, a personal history on this street. I personally, met my husband 'cruising' North [Ave] in high school." said Dodge.

There is a petition floating around the Internet in Grand Junction, gaining over 600 signatures. That, however, has no legal binding. Dodge says she's working to get the issue on the ballot for November. To follow her efforts, you can join the group "Keep North Avenue Name as is" on Facebook.

The name change of North Avenue is part of the CMU 20,000 initiiative aimed at garnering community support behind the insitution. To learn about that effort, visit CMU20000.com


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