FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Impassioned residents and business owners told the Fresno City Council why they opposed renaming the Kings Canyon Corridor to Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
Resident Cruz Gonzalez says it's "almost as important as Fremont Street in Vegas or Wall Street in New York. It's ironic. That name means home."
"Renaming 10.2 miles of roads that have their own historical significance is wrong, and it can be reversed if there's a council member to bring it back and allow these people to come and address this in the right way," Councilman Gary Bredefeld said.
The renaming was approved by a majority of the council back on March 9th.
Mayor Jerry Dyer took no action on the bill, which allowed it to go into law without his signature.
However, Bredefeld says many people impacted only learned about the renaming after it was approved.
"This is unfair to our constituents. It's reckless, as it will adversely impact emergency medical services, creating much confusion for first responders," Bredefeld added.
Dozens of people who live and work along Kings Canyon came to council chambers Thursday to protest.
Councilmembers Nelson Esparza, Luis Chavez, and Miguel Arias led the efforts to rename the corridor.
Arias said the community had ample time to give their input... and now people are trying to roll back their effort to honor a civil rights icon.
"There were several council meetings and several hours of public input was received. In my view, this is simply an attempt to set a new standard when recognizing a Latino leader in our community and I don't think that is fair, just or equitable in a city this diverse," said Arias.
The renaming impacts East Kings Canyon Road, East Ventura Avenue, and West California Avenue between Marks and Temperance.
Despite the effort -- there are no plans to revisit this issue-- so protesters may consider litigation.
The city has one million dollars set aside to assist residents and homeowners with the name change.