Tampa City Councilwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin's interest in recognizing Florida's Spanish heritage in a meaningful way for generations to come is commendable, as is council's recognition that, despite more than a decade of significant public safety efforts, Nebraska Avenue could still use some re-imaging.
However, working toward allocating funds for much-needed infrastructure improvements would have a far larger impact on "re-imaging" Nebraska Avenue and improving the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. Better lighting, improved and more clearly marked bike lanes, wider shaded sidewalks, public art and landscaped medians are all items highlighted by the city's Invision planning process - and would be money well spent as compared to simply replacing street signs.
Let's not forget that the naming of Nebraska Avenue does, in fact, have a significant historical meaning. Let's not erase one history in favor of another. The most interesting, beloved cities are those that cherish and build on a diverse local history. There are plenty of opportunities to recognize Pedro Menendez de Aviles and Hispanic heritage without negating our past.