Community Board 2 believes that large numbers of street co-namings diminishes the distinction bestowed upon the honorees. In order to make a determination on the appropriateness of a street co-naming request, the community board requires the following information:
- Evidence of support by one or more geographically relevant civic associations.
- Evidence of support by local businesses or other entities (e.g.: schools, churches, etc.) on the street that might be affected by the co-naming.
- Statement why the candidate(s) is/are historically or culturally significant.
- Map showing the exact geographic limits of the co-naming request.
- Petition signed by local residents, with the number of signatories proportionate to the length/section of the street proposed to be co-named.
- Evidence of support by local elected officials.
It has been the community board’s experience that co-naming requests are some times received soon after an individual has died, when emotions are understandably intense. Community Board 2 requests that candidate(s) be deceased for three years before being proposed for a street co-naming. This period provides all parties with the perspective provided only by time.
City Council Standards
The New York City Council adopted in 2008 its own street co-naming standards. Since street co-naming requests must be approved by the City Council, requests to Community Board 2 should also conform to these standards. Subjects must be either:
Individuals who are:
- New York City residents or natives or individuals of particular importance to New York City;
- Of enduring or lasting interest to large segments of the city’s population or have undertaken an act or acts of enduring or lasting interest to their community; and
- Whose importance to the city or whose enduring interest is a result of exemplary acts or achievements which reflect positively on the city;
Or, organizations that are:
- Of particular importance to New York City;
- Of enduring or lasting interest to large segments of the city’s population that have undertaken acts of enduring or lasting interest; and
- Whose importance to the city or whose enduring interest is a result of exemplary acts or achievements which reflect positively on the city.
Procedure and Timeframe
Street co-namings are made by an act of legislation. The City Council writes two-to-four such bills each year. The deadline for submitting requests varies. It is the responsibility of the proposer to leave sufficient time for the numerous steps necessary before a request is included in legislation.
The first step is a review of the required documentation by the community board’s Transportation and Public Safety Committee. The committee meets once per month, September-June, and may make a recommendation to Community Board 2. The community board, which meets approximately three weeks later, also September-June, may vote to make a recommendation to the City Council member in whose district the street is located.
Council Members submit street co-naming requests to Council staff and provide background information. City Council staff conducts a background analysis of the proposed honoree(s) and produces a memo with its findings. The background analysis and all relevant vetting information are forwarded to all Council Members, who have up to 21 days in which to comment. Council staff may, after consulting with the sponsoring Council Member, flag a candidate as in need of further consideration. If any Council Member raises opposition to a proposed co-naming during the comment period, it will be subject to further review. The preceding steps will take several months to complete.