Red Sox

City panel votes unanimously to rename Yawkey Way

The strip will revert to Jersey Street.

Yawkey Way
Yawkey Way is going to be renamed. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File

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With the swiftness of a roll-call vote, a Boston public works commission made history Thursday and agreed to rename Yawkey Way, returning the stretch by Fenway Park to its original moniker — Jersey Street.

Reading from a prepared statement, a member of the Public Improvement Commission said the panel had little discretion over a petition to change the name of a public way, because it had been unanimously approved by the street’s abutters. Petitions filed under such circumstances have historically been granted with few exceptions.

The decision will reverberate throughout the city and baseball history, forging an unbreakable link between the name and the allegations of racism that trailed Tom Yawkey, the former owner of the Red Sox.

The Red Sox organization, led by principal owner John Henry (who also owns The Boston Globe), requested the name change to Jersey Street, saying the organization wanted to end its ties to a historically racist figure and create a new environment at the “front door” of its ballpark.

The Public Improvement Commission, a panel of city department heads who review projects on public ways, such as street name changes, accepted the request over the passionate pleas of Yawkey’s supporters, who urged commission members to consider Yawkey’s history of charitable giving.

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