Is Preston Road Really Now Called Harold C. Simmons Memorial Highway?

Leave the street names alone!

Just a bit ago, I got an email from the Simmons operation about the renaming of Preston Road tomorrow. Have you heard about this? That’s because no one has written anything about it till right now. Here’s the email:

Tomorrow we will send you a VO already ready to go for the renaming of Preston Road from Northwest Highway to Royal Lane to Harold C. Simmons Memorial Highway. The Governor will be attending to give the late Mr. Simmons this honor for his major contributions to Dallas, including the current $50 million donation for the Trinity River Park.

Trust me, I prefer things to be already ready when I get them. But we’re renaming Preston? That’s insane. How have we not had a conversation about renaming one of the oldest roads in Dallas? Sure, maybe if the new name were Dwaine Caraway Superfly Speedway. No discussion needed. Make that happen. But renaming 2 miles of Preston after Harold Simmons? I would have expected some spirited debate down at City Hall.

I was griping about this in the office, when my close friend and colleague Peter Simek offered that Preston isn’t actually a city of Dallas street. It’s a state highway, technically. It’s called State Highway 289. Peter suggested that’s why we hadn’t heard about this until the day before it happens. I was getting ready to organize a protest march and launch a Kickstarter campaign to make Preston hats. Then Peter said, “Maybe it’s just a designation, not an actual renaming?”

Ah. Yes. Google brought me to this recap of House Bill 3964, which refers to the move as a “designation.” I guess representatives Morgan Meyer(R), Cindy Burkett(R), and Donald Huffines(R) must have gotten some campaign donations from the Simmons family. Fair enough. And in a follow-up exchange with the emailer, she said, “It is an honorary designation.” So the street signs aren’t changing, and St. Mark’s won’t have to get new letterhead. We can all relax.