Sound idea to rename expressway

Few American cities have the distinction of being a U.S. president’s birthplace.

Scranton would be foolish not to memorialize its place in history as President Joe Biden’s place of birth — on Nov. 20, 1942, in the former St. Mary’s Hospital — all the more so because the president wears his affinity for his native city on his sleeve.

Soon after Biden’s inauguration, an early proposal called for renaming Wyoming Avenue between downtown Scranton and Biden’s childhood neighborhood in Green Ridge.

City council appointed a committee to consider the matter and it has come up with a better recommendation: rename the Central Scranton Expressway and Spruce Street, in downtown Scranton, for Biden.

The change would be in keeping with recognition that the region has bestowed upon other major political figures, including the McDade Expressway for the late Rep. Joseph M. McDade, and the Casey Highway for the late Gov. Robert P. Casey.

It also would enhance recognition of Biden’s tie to Scranton, in that millions of people each year would see signage on Interstate 81 for the Joe Biden Expressway.

Some people objected to the Wyoming Avenue idea because it would require 20 blocks’ worth of residential and business address changes.

But Spruce Street is just six blocks long, with several full blocks occupied by buildings that have addresses on cross-streets — for example the Lackawanna County Courthouse on North Washington Avenue and the Scranton Times Building on Penn Avenue.

The recommendation is well-considered.

Council and the Cognetti administration should approve it and begin the process of formalizing the recognition for the 46th president’s deepest tie to Scranton.


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