Colonial Drive to be Renamed MLK Highway
The culmination of nearly ten years of effort by State Senator Gary Siplin (D-Orlando) to have a portion of State Road 50 designated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway will now be more noticeable to local travelers.
As the Florida Department of Transportation completes its widening project along State Road 50, the job is being finished off with new overhead street signage at several key intersections, including signs at the intersection of Pine Hills Road, bearing the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as requested by Siplin.
“This designation is not just about resurrecting a sign, but it’s about resurrecting a stronger sense of community and bonding with the people of Central Florida,” Siplin stated. “We live in a nation that is better today because of Dr. King’s tireless work and we should be in constant recognition of that.”
Senator Siplin was able to pass legislation in 2003 with the assistance of former State Representative and current Orange County Commissioner Fred Brummer, after working diligently in 2001 and 2002 to designate the portion of State Road 50 from Ocoee to State Road 436 as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway.
“It is wonderful that Sen. Siplin’s persistence brings about this additional acknowledgement of a truly great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” remarked Commissioner Brummer.
Senator Siplin was joined in June of 2004 by Martin Luther King, III for the unveiling of honorary road signs in Ocoee, which was the scene of the 1920’s race riot over the registration of a black voter, and at Semoran Boulevard, which is the boundary of one of the most ethnically diverse areas of Orlando.
Identical overhead signage is anticipated to be placed along State Road 50 at Hiawassee Road, Maguire Road, and North Bumby Avenue.