PORTLAND, Maine (Portland Press Herald) -- A Portland City Council subcommittee backed away from renaming a major city thoroughfare after the late Martin Luther King Jr., choosing instead to recommend that a task force be formed to investigate finding another way to recognize the legacy of one of the nation’s greatest civil rights leaders.

The council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee held a public hearing Tuesday evening on the proposal to change the name of Franklin Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, but it quickly became clear that most members of the public in attendance were opposed because of the dislocation of neighborhood residents that was caused by the creation of the Franklin Street Arterial a half-century ago. About 25 residents attended the hearing at City Hall and only one person who spoke supported the name change.

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