Neighbors concerned about Fort Myers plan to rename streets after NFL players

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: Shared with WINK News.

A proud Southwest Florida city is naming two streets after two NFL stars, but not everyone is happy about it.

Brother Sammy and Jaylen Watkins are both Super Bowl champions, and Fort Myers wants to honor them with streets named after them.

Some homeowners along Dupree Street and American Avenue in Dunbar say the change is an inconvenience.

Neighbors say the street name updates would change everything from driver’s licenses to checkbooks to their mail.

Mary McKinley couldn’t be prouder the street she lives on will soon be named after her grandson.

“Who would have thought, his name on a street and the things he’s accomplished and the things he’s did,” said McKinley. “I just pray and thank God.”

It’s a pride shared by Jacob Meigs who also lives on American Avenue.

“I personally am not against it because, I mean, the guy grew up right here,” Meigs said.

Most neighbors share the same pride for the accomplishments of Sammy and Jaylen, who will have Dupree Street renamed after him, but some aren’t happy about what they call a hassle that will come with the changes.

“We have to pay to get our checkbooks changed, our homeowner’s insurance changed, all of our bills changed,” said neighbor Janice Stevenson.

“I don’t want to have to change my driver’s license,” said neighbor Nicole Solomon.

Solomon has lived on American Avenue for 45 years. She said she worries the name changes will inconvenience elderly people in the area because they will have to change personal documents and worry about their mail.

“He is a great kid. I’ve known him since he was a baby,” Solomon said. “But at the same time, I don’t think a street name is something that needs to be changed. Go and name something else.”

Although McKinley understands her neighbors’ concerns, she says she’s still beaming with pride.

“His granddaddy would’ve loved to see that, and I am so proud of him,” McKinley said.

The U.S. Postal Service said that once the street names are officially changed, customers will have a year and a half to make an official address change. The new addresses are added to the Postal Service database to ensure the mail gets to the right place.

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