Thousands petitioning to change the name of Austin's Robert E. Lee Road

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — In Austin, an online group is petitioning to have the name of Robert E. Lee Road changed after the White Nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly on Saturday.

Over the weekend, Robert E. Lee street signs were vandalized with red spray paint at four intersections in the south Austin neighborhood. The city says it will cost about $700 and take a couple of weeks to replace the signs.

Now, thousands of people have signed the petition to rename Robert E. Lee Road.

“There are lots of people here in this neighborhood who really want the name changed, and they’ve been wanting it for years,” said Gilbert Ramos, who’s lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years.

“I see it every day,” Ramos said. “And I feel uncomfortable just seeing that name.”

Ramos wrote to Austin City Council members Monday, asking that the name of the street be changed to that of Officer William DeWayne Jones Sr., who was shot and killed on the street while on duty in 2000.

“I figure that would be the most appropriate name,” Ramos said. “A hero for Austin and this neighborhood.”

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