It’s time to Reopen Atlantic City’s Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard
ILLINOIS AVENUE, ALSO KNOWN AS DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD, IS A MAJOR THOROUGHFARE & IT REMAINS BARRICADED & CLOSED FROM ATLANTIC TO PACIFIC AVENUES IN ATLANTIC CITY.
Last year, Atlantic City activist Steve Young announced that a group of Atlantic City residents would seek to paint “Black Lives Matter” in yellow street paint … similar to what had previously been done outside of Trump Tower in New York City and elsewhere in America.
Young’s preferred location to paint this message was directly in front of the entrance to Historic Boardwalk Hall. This was met by significant and wide-ranging opposition, including by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, who knew that it would violate city ordinances.
Mayor Small held a strategic meeting with Young and other interested parties and working partners to address the controversy. Small achieved a compromise, and it was agreed by all parties to move the “Black Lives Matter” painting to Illinois Avenue, also known as Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard. It was a substantial 5-figure expenditure, but it helped keep the peace during a very volatile time in Atlantic City and in the nation.
It was quickly discovered that this painting made this critical main thoroughfare unusable, as it was confusing and dangerous to even attempt to drive on it. A complete effort was made many weeks ago to remove the “Black Lives Matter” painting on Dr. MLK Boulevard, yet, the street still remains barricaded and closed.
Inexplicably, Mayor Small kept it closed during the peak summer season, which makes absolutely no sense, and it has been very problematic during the summer … especially during the 4th of July and Labor Day holiday weekends.
We have been advised by a confidential City Hall source (who was concerned about political retaliation) that the traffic lights are in place and in proper working order.
It’s as simple as just moving the barricades, and this street can be immediately reopened for passage.
A second City Hall insider advised that discussions are currently underway to possibly paint this street again with a still-to-be-determined African-American theme. Our City Hall source advised that Mayor Small made this decision unilaterally, City Council was not consulted. This could be the reason why the street is being kept closed for no apparent good reason.
The summer 2021 season is basically over, but it’s long overdue to reopen this major street.