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Sunday, Feb 19, 2017
Carrollwood News

Take your pick: Ybor's main road has three names

TAMPA - Seventh Avenue? La Sétima? La Séptima? How about all three? After much discussion, Tampa City Council members on Thursday voted to remove the signs lining Ybor City's main thoroughfare and replace them with ones including all three names for the road. The debate about what to do with street signs along Seventh Avenue began when a contingent of Ybor residents argued that a nod to the historic neighborhood's Spanish roots, "La Sétima," on Seventh Avenue signs is a misspelling and would invite ridicule from thousands of Spanish speakers coming here for the Republican National Convention in August.
Those residents lobbied city leaders to change the signs to what they say is the correct translation of Seventh: "Séptima." Other residents argued the existing signs reflect neighborhood history and should remain. They argued Sétima and Séptima are both correct spellings. Earlier this month, Councilwoman Yvonne Capin floated the idea of including both spellings on the signs - a notion that required the council's approval. This week, the Ybor City Development Corporation's board voted unanimously to recommend signs not include Sétima or Séptima. The street signs, the board members said, should say only Seventh Avenue. Meanwhile, some others speaking before the city council Thursday still argued the sign should not be changed to include Séptima. After hearing all the arguments, Councilwoman Mary Mulhern said the most logical move would be to change the sign's spelling to Séptima, which clearly was the preferred spelling. Councilwoman Lisa Montelione said it would be least expensive to leave the signs alone and repair or replace missing the missing Sétima signs.  Ultimately council members voted in favor of Capin's motion. "Compromise is what rules here," Councilman Mike Suarez said. Councilman Harry Cohen said the multi-named sign will be a good conversation starter and will educate people on the history of Ybor. "I think that putting both spellings on the sign does not make us look stupid," he said.