Make way for Ted Turner Drive at Historic Spring Street

The Atlanta City Council has approved plans to rename a downtown Atlanta street for billionaire Ted Turner, an effort that drew support from prominent Atlantans and criticism from others who say there are better ways to honor the media mogul.

Spring Street, from Whitehall to West Peachtree streets, will now be known as Ted Turner Drive at Historic Spring Street.

Supporters, including former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, former CNN head Tom Johnson and broadcasting executive Xernona Clayton, say Turner more than deserves the honor. They credit the founder of Turner Broadcasting System with bringing the city international prominence through his media, environmental and humanitarian efforts.

But a few downtown residents opposed the measure brought by Councilman C.T. Martin, saying that street renamings are costly, disruptive and add little to no value to a community. All agreed Turner should be recognized, but some said they believe there are more appropriate ways to do so, such as naming a park for him.

Former CNN broadcaster Bill Tush, who advocated for the renaming, joked that Turner took the opposition in stride. “Ted says if it doesn’t work, he’ll change his name to a street.”

The measure passed by a 9-3 vote, with Council members Alex Wan, Yolanda Adrean and Felicia Moore voting against it. While they agreed Turner deserves recognition for his contributions to Atlanta, some expressed concerns that the effort was rushed and that city processes were waived for its passage.

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