By Kathi Bliss
Street names took center stage this week during the Commissioners Court meeting, as the County grapples with what they should call about 3,300 feet of frontage road on SH-130 west of Lockhart.
I started remembering all the brouhaha when the Lockhart City Council chose to name the portion of the access road within the city limits “Cesar Chavez Parkway,” and that got me wondering, “what’s in a name, really?”
As it turns out… Quite a lot.
For instance, a friend told me this week that, back at the Fourth of July, he encountered a family setting off fireworks, about 50 feet west of City Line Road. When they were informed that it was illegal to discharge fireworks within the city limits, they were confused. After all, shouldn’t “City Line Road” actually mark the city line?
Before some recent annexations by the Lockhart City Council… it did.
I’m not saying that I support changing the name of City Line Road. After all, changing one’s address is a hassle, as I learned some years back when the City of Lockhart renumbered my street.
Changing your address is not as simple as making a change with the Post Office. No, a property owner has to change not only their address with Postal Service, but with their utility company, their credit cards, their employer, their bank, their insurance companies, their mortgage companies – basically everyone with whom they do business.
And it’s a pain. Over the course of my own address change, I missed mail from an attorney who was unaware of the address change, had my mortgage increased because I provided an insurance policy for a property with an address that didn’t match my mortgage, and lost more than one Christmas card.
Which then begs the question, why would we ask the residents of that area to go through the address change process any more than we have to. It’s unfair, and it’s not right.
After the toll road was built and the City of Lockhart made their decision to name the access roads “Cesar Chavez Parkway,” the 9-1-1 system and the Caldwell County Appraisal District went ahead and changed the addresses for the properties on the same stretch that weren’t quite in the city limits. That seems reasonable to me.
Now, however, the Caldwell County Commissioners are considering renaming that short stretch of roadway “HT Wright Parkway.” For the life of me, I can’t understand why.
Put away your tar and feathers. There are few people I’ve met, through the course of my adult life, that I liked or respected more than I did Judge Wright. He and I could fight like dogs on Thursday afternoon about something I’d printed in the paper, and then he would welcome me into his home on Saturday evening.
He was just like that. He kept the personal relationships personal and the professional relationships professional, and he never let one interfere with the other.
But above and beyond my personal and professional respect for the man, he did so much for this community, particularly in regards to the construction of the highway, that he should be honored. We should honor him every chance we get.
But naming a small portion of the access road after him isn’t the way. He should be honored with something permanent.
As sure as I’m standing here, the City of Lockhart is going to annex the stretch of SH-130 the Court is considering naming HT Wright Parkway. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it is going to happen. When it does, the access roads will, by necessity, become “Cesar Chavez Parkway.” It’s going to happen.
So first and foremost, why would we want to consider such a temporary honorarium for such an iconic man? Why wouldn’t we rather honor him with something more permanent – say the HT Wright Judicial Center, as Commissioner Munoz suggested?
Second, why would we ask the property owners in that area to go through not one, but three address changes? That just seems unreasonable to me.
And third, why would we want to emulate Austin, where you can never make a turn or take an exit, and drive on Highway 183, Research Boulevard, Ed Bluestein and Anderson Lane?
I hope that the Court will reconsider, and just go ahead and name the road “Cesar Chavez Parkway.”
And then find another way to honor Judge Wright. Something that’s worthy of his name.