Beckrich Rd. Renamed Richard Jackson Boulevard

by April 29, 2009 • 16 comments

photo2At exactly 11:49 AM April 29th Mayor Gayle Oberst made the renaming of Beckrich Road to Richard Jackson Boulevard official, honoring the long time city manager Richard Jackson. Dozens of people were on hand, filling the parking lot outside of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce building to participate in the event. At one time, three of Panama City Beach’s most recent mayors (Oberst, Phillip Griffits, and Lee Sullivan) held the stage to honor Mr. Jackson, though honoring quickly turned into a lighthearted roast drawing applause and laughter thoughout.

Beckrich Road was renamed and revamped with a 9-million dollar roadway expansion from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. For many of Panama City Beach residents, myself included, the GAC managed overhaul of Beckrich has been nothing short of successful; the intersection runs smoother and is more aesthetic with sidewalks, tropical landscaping and upgraded underground utilities paid for with the beach’s community redevelopment area (CRA) money.

Panama City Beach City Manager since 1969, after humbly accepting the honor, Richard Jackson said, “I really appreciate all the nice things that have been said about me. It’s been a job, it’s a job I’ve enjoyed. I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been an honor. I plan on sticking around for awhile.”

Mayor Oberst also gave a nod to a future Front Beach Road and Thomas drive project to be done through the CRA. This project will overhaul South Thomas (near Alvin’s Island) and go up to Front Beach Rd. where expansions and facelifts will go westward towards Richard Jackson Boulevard and East towards the Hutchison Intersection near Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Musuem.

Click here to read more about the Panama City Beach CRA.

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1 Allan April 30, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Is it just me or I am the only one that does not get the renaming of roads? Like when they renamed Middle and Back Beach…all it does is confuse people not familiar with the area. I get you want to honor the folks or whatever but why not say Beckrich Road in Honor of Richard Jackson on a green road sign and be done with it. I mean seriously…..I for one will continue to call it Beckrich. A waste of taxpayers money…wonder how much it costs when they have to redo all the street signs and all.

On a side note a car crashed into the Beckrich sign today across the street from Sonnys. Have it on my cell phone and will post the pic when I get back home….It tore up the car. Those metal street signs are kind of strong.


2 Jason Koertge April 30, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I’m sorry, City of PCB, I have to totally agree here. I get the whole “honor” thing, but I don’t like the renaming of streets either.


3 Concerned Owner May 1, 2009 at 9:29 am

I don’t suppose anyone asked Beckrich, or his family, for their opinion on changing the name of his street. Fame is fleeting so Richard Jackson should enjoy the street named after him before they change it to something else.


4 Concerned May 1, 2009 at 9:32 am

I don’t suppose anyone asked Beckrich, or his family, for their opinion on changing the name of his street. Fame is fleeting so Richard Jackson should enjoy the street named after him before they change it to something else.


5 Cebo Campbell May 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

The lady who named Beckrich, who named it after her son Richard and his wife Becky, spoke during the event, humbly passing the torch…or streetlight…


6 Allan May 2, 2009 at 12:44 am

At any rate it is still a waste of money and does nothing but confuse visitors to the area. I mean I am sure the city manager has done good things and all but he is doing his job. He is probably making 6 figures a year….I would be doing the best I could for that too….


7 Concerned Owner May 3, 2009 at 8:49 am

I know the pest office, er, Post Office, isn’t real thrilled when any street gets renamed as it screws up their delivery for years to come as people continue to use the ‘old’ street address.

It will probably be many years before map makers make the change.

Sometimes the name changes are just dumb, like making ‘Back Beach Rd’ into “Panama City Beach Parkway”. A very long name to have to add to your business cards, address labels etc.


8 BRIAN OSBORN May 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I am a vistor at PCB I will always call it FRONT, MIDDLE & BACK Beach road


9 Russell May 5, 2009 at 8:44 am

If PCB has so much extra money to waste, why doesn’t the honorable mayor and council lower our taxes versus buying more street signs which will only cause confusion for everyone. At the least, rename a lesser used street versus doing away with a “known” cut through that everyone knows and uses. Didn’t we tax payers pay this guy during his years of service in his cushy government job. You would think that was sufficient. This is rediculous.


10 Xine May 5, 2009 at 9:21 am

I don’t understand how the city can justify spending $27,000 on new signs for this road renaming, even if it is CRA money. Sheesh! Many of the Bechrich signs were new because of the new construction, so they were just tossed out and the new R Jackson Blvd signs installed. What a waste!

The new “Beaches via R Jackson Blvd” signs on Back Beach should be a model for all of over the other public access points along the beach.

And I agree with the News Herald’s editorial — why name it after a living person… or even someone still in their position (not retired)??? We saw what happened with the Hildre Peel Park in Cedar Grove. Was there no other way to honor a man who has done his JOB for many years? He wasn’t even elected into office… it’s an appointed position. I’m sure he’s done lots of great things, but is this really the appropriate venue to honor him? And not even upon his retirement? Just some random day??? What are the city council members smokin’??


11 Pam May 7, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I do not think we should spend taxpayer money on renaming streets for the purpose of a memorial. Name new streets, new building, etc. in honor of those who deserve recognition. This will cause much confusion for our visitors, who drastically out number the local residents. This renaming event seems to be the top topic in the area and no one seems to agree with it. Who is in charge here??


12 concerned owner May 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm

We could follow the Atlanta model in naming streets, just call every 6th street Peachtree. 17 at last count, must save a lot on sign painting, but then I guess there are a lot of tourists still wandering around looking for where they were suppose to go.


13 James May 8, 2009 at 11:08 pm

All of these comments make great points. Why don’t our elected (or appointed) officials ever use common sense in their decision-making??

This is just one more example of government memorializing its sense of importance. The best government (at any level) is one that is minimal and doesn’t constantly do things to remind citizens of its existence — or tick them off!


14 concerned owner May 9, 2009 at 9:21 am

RE: James says: “The best government is one that is minimal and doesn’t constantly do things to remind citizens of its existence”

Right on! Thomas Jefferson said the same thing:

“I believe that government that governs least, governs best!”


15 Walter Kraszewski May 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Spending tax payer money in PCB to the tune of $27,000 to rename a street with an already good name is like have the Federal Government building a bridge to nowhere.

If the 6 or so board members wanted to rename the street
they should have split the cost between them.