People in Downtown Mobile react to petition to change George Wallace Tunnel’s name

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A local couple started a petition to change the name of the George Wallace Tunnel.

Wallace served four terms as the governor of Alabama, but the petition states he’s also remembered for segregationist views, citing that as a reason for the name change.

Changing the name is ultimately up to the Alabama legislature. News 5 reached out to Governor Kay Ivey’s Office who referred us to the state’s Attorney General’s Office. A spokesperson for the attorney general said they have no comment.

People News 5 spoke to in Mobile about the issue had differing opinions.

Ifinnie Bivens said, “I am in total agreeance with it. I think that, that’s something that should be done across the city.”

Michelle Faile said, “I think it’s stupid. I don’t really see a point in it. I mean, it’s been named that forever, why not keep it that way?”

Terrence Bailey said, “I mean it’s really, it’s going to always be little, It’s going to always be a big debate when it comes to stuff like that trying to get everyone’s opinions, so I mean, I say yes.”

The George Wallace Tunnel has been open since 1973. Patrick and Liz Callaghan created a petition to rename it.

“Personally, I would not want to drive through a tunnel every day that’s named after a man that’s best known for saying ‘segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” said Liz.

In 1963, Wallace stood in the way of two black students trying to register at the University of Alabama. Numbers for the petition continue climbing and have grown to more than 2,800 in five days.

Patrick Callaghan said, “I’m hoping that it brings awareness, first off, to the systemic racism that still lives in this country.” 

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