Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Broward County Commissioners have expressed openness to the idea of changing the name of Dixie Highway, but they’re checking with cities ﬁrst.
Dixie Highway runs through eight Broward cities: Deerﬁeld Beach, Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Hallandale Beach. County Commissioners want to check with each of those cities to see if they’re agreeable to changing the name.
It’s a sentiment that is gaining momentum throughout Florida.
“People feel it’s racist and that the term ‘Dixie’ is painful and hurtful,” said Broward Mayor Dale V.C. Holness, “I like the idea of renaming it something like Harriet Tubman-Dixie Highway to portray both aspects of our history to be remembered.” He wants cities to decide what name is right for their communities and has suggested a committee be formed to come up with some suggestions for Commission consideration.
“I agree about renaming Dixie Highway, but the County has little jurisdiction on naming city roads,” said Broward Commissioner Steve Geller. “I would prefer a name with a South Florida connection. Perhaps we could have a contest and ask for recommendations. Or ask a panel.”
“We have to make this as inclusive as possible,” said Commissioner Tim Ryan.
“Four of the eight cities that Dixie Highway is located in are in my district,” noted Commissioner Lamar Fisher. “I want to know if these cities like the idea, if businesses are in favor of it and if there is a willingness to do it.”
“I like the idea, but I worry that the name could get piecemealed in all of this,” Commissioner Nan Rich said. “I favor forming a committee to study ideas and come back to us for ﬁnal approval.”
Commissioners did not vote on any speciﬁc names but expect to hear recommendations from cities for further discussion and review.
The estimated price of implementing the highway name change is $100,000 to $200,000 for signage change.