Council approves honoring Atatiana Jefferson on I-35W

Published on August 17, 2021

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The City Council voted Tuesday to establish a memorial designation on I-35W to honor Atatiana Jefferson, a Fort Worth woman killed by a former police officer.

The Texas Department of Transportation process for naming highways and memorial designations states: “A part of the highway system, including a bridge or street, may be designated by the name of a person only if the person is deceased and he/she was significant: (1) in the state's history; or (2) in the lives of the people of this state.”

The city has a municipal maintenance agreement with TxDOT that allows for designations on state highways. TxDOT will review the request and notify the city of its decision. If approved, TxDOT authorizes implementation, and the city covers all expenses.

City leaders, in cooperation with a coalition of clergy and grassroots community leaders, are preparing a comprehensive response to how the city and community can honor Jefferson’s life and legacy. Mayor Mattie Parker and Councilmembers Gyna Bivens, Chris Nettles and Jared Williams are participating in this effort. City Council should receive recommendations from the coalition in the coming weeks.

“I am deeply humbled to be a part of honoring Atatiana Jefferson’s life and legacy,” said Nettles, Council District 8 representative. “It means so much to the community and me that Fort Worth took this step in solidifying her incredible impact on our city. Today would not have been possible without the persistence and sacrifice of Mr. James Smith, Atatiana Jefferson’s neighbor. Thank you to all of the community activists who worked to ensure that Atatiana Jefferson’s name will never be forgotten.”

The council previously approved the memorial designation of East Allen Avenue/East Maddox Avenue from I-35W to U.S. 287 to honor Jefferson.



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