SALEM — Salem Council’s Committee of the Whole soon will be considering a name change of West Second Street to honor a native son whose family dates back several generations.
Philip A. Tibbs on Tuesday requested the Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee to consider changing the name of West Second Street, which runs from North Ellsworth Avenue to Jennings Avenue before turning into Pennsylvania Avenue, to Howard Tibbs Way. The name change is in honor of his father, Col. Howard A. Tibbs, a Salem High School and Salem Business School graduate who posthumously received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen / Women — the nation’s first African-American military mission units / wing group.
Tibbs noted the historical relevance of his family in his request. He said Howard Avenue was named in honor of his great-grandfather Charles Howard in 1901 and several members of his extended family played a vital role in the community the past 150 years or more.
Howard Tibbs is one of three Salem natives to be awarded the congressional gold medal. Philip Tibbs said he would like to erect a plaque at the intersection of Howard Avenue and the proposed Howard Tibbs Way explaining the historical significance.
Committee member Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey asked that a cost estimate for changing street signs and mapping, as well as the opinions of property owners along the stretch of roadway in question, be obtained before forwarding the issue to the Committee of the Whole. However, Committee Chairman Ron Zellers responded the post office told him there is no issue in the legality of a name change and by forwarding the issue to the Committee of the Whole, the community members will have an opportunity to voice their opinion.
Tibbs said if there is an issue with changing the name of West Second Street, he would like to see West Third or Fourth changed, or have the intersection dedicated to his father.
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