AUSTIN (KXAN) – Street signs in south Austin were vandalized with red spray paint this weekend along Robert E Lee Road.
It’s a short road that runs south from Barton Springs Road, along the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum and ends at Rabb Road where the name of the street changes to Melridge Place.
The city says signs at four intersections were vandalized and it will cost about $700 to fabricate and install the new signs. The vandalized signs should be replaced in the next two weeks or so.
Robert E. Lee was the Confederacy’s top general during the American Civil War, and a statue of him astride a horse is at the center of the chaos that descended upon Charlottesville, Va., on Friday and Saturday.
A moveon.org petition was created in 2015 calling for the name of the Austin street to be changed. It has gathered more than 500 signatures.
The city of Austin says changing the name of a street must be initiated by a council member, a city department or a property owner with property abutting the street. The city council must then pass an ordinance approving the name change.
Sunday, Austin council member Greg Casar was tagged in a post from someone asking for his help to change the street name.
Casar replied and said, “I support renaming this and I am working on it!”
More information about the name changing process is available on the city’s website.
In May of 2016, the Austin Independent School District board of trustees voted to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School after years of debate. It’s still called Lee Elementary, but is now named after Russell Lee, the first professor of photography at the University of Texas who documented poor and working people of all races and ethnicities in Texas and many other states.