SAN ANTONIO –Enrique M. Barrera Parkway was formerly the old US Highway 90 until September 2015. It was a decision the West Side community says it never wanted to happen.
On Thursday, a unanimous city council vote changed the name again, this time now called Historic Old US Highway 90.
Residents and business owners of the section of Enrique M. Barrera Parkway fought to stop the name change in 2015, but lost. Soon after, a new rule came into effect stating that altered street names cannot be changed again for at least five years.
“Words can’t explain how we felt, you feel like someone kicked you in the gut because you did everything right, everything we were supposed to do, we did it. ‘did and it didn’t go our way,” Javier Gutierrez, co-owner of Del Bravos Record Shop.
Guttierez and others along the highway, like Mike Cooremans, owner of M4 Auto Supply, waited the five years but kept fighting. And their work has not gone unnoticed.
District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Harvda said Thursday’s vote was the result of a sustained effort by the community, but more work needs to be done.
“We will be offering different avenues to honor Councilman Barrera in my district, and maybe outside my district because he was such a good man,” Harvda said.
According to those happy with the change, the problem with the name change had nothing to do with who he was honoring, as the late Enrique M. Barrera was a former Edgewood ISD advisor and trustee. The West Side residents’ problem was that they felt like a part of themselves was taken.
“The old Highway 90 identifies us. The name identifies us here,” Guttierez said.
The other problem is that the name change was bad for business. This confused customers, and some saw the new name and thought the store had moved.
Others would use GPS and meet on Enrique Avenue, 400 meters from the Enrique M. Barrera promenade. Business owners say they hope the latest change will bring their business back.
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