Businessman gathering support for street name change

The street around Veterans Square in Bradford has been named Marilyn Horne Way since 2000. Greg Ross is hoping to gather support to name the street Veterans Way instead.

The name of a little more than 1,000 feet of road in the City of Bradford is under contention again.

The .05 mile street around Veterans Square is called Marilyn Horne Way, and has been since 2000, when the name was changed from Parker Place — the name of the street since 1895.

The problem is, people seem to remember that one-way street being called Veterans Way.

That was never the case.

“The street was named Parker Place after the Parker family who owned the majority of property in that area years ago, the former Nick’s Red Hot’s and Central Bowling Alley (I think it was called) was actually named the Parker Building,” said city administrator Chris Lucco. “It never was named Veterans Way.”

Businessman and Bradford native Greg Ross wants to change that. Earlier in the week, he asked on social media what people thought of approaching city officials about changing the street name.

“The response was tremendously successful,” Ross told The Era. The post, on The Bradford Chocolate Factory page, was seen by over a thousand people in just a few hours.

“Every single comment said it should be Veterans Way,” he said.

Before his post, he had talked to several Bradford residents, all of whom shared his view that there should be a street to honor veterans. “Other towns have either a Veterans Drive or Memorial Drive,” Ross said.

That section of street would be the perfect choice to carry the name, he added.

“Every veterans’ activity is generally done right there in the Square,” Ross said, “the memorial services, all the different service-oriented activities. I think it would be a perfect location for it.”

He has nothing against Marilyn Horne, he added.

“Marilyn has her museum, let the veterans have their street,” Ross said with a laugh.

The Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center is located at 2 Marilyn Horne Way.

Ross said he’s always been impressed with the love that Bradfordians have for their veterans.

“We didn’t get a chance to get the parade in this year,” he said, but added that he purchased a Hometown Heroes banner with his father on it. “It does everybody’s hearts good to see the vets honored.

“Bradford residents are very pro-vet and pro-American,” Ross said.

He’s thinking of putting a petition together, with enough support, to ask the city council to change the street name. He would advertise the petition, and “let the community know we’d like to present this to the council and see if we can get a house packed full of people — with social distancing and masks — to see if we can plead our case.”

Ross said if council were to balk at the cost involved with a name change, he would set out to raise funds to help.