Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) No. 163, the bill to designate State Route 282 the distinction as a Blue Star Memorial Highway has become law. The bill was sponsored by Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins and supported by the National Garden Clubs Inc., Gold Star Families Memorial Markers arm of National Garden Clubs, with Coronado Bridge and Bay Garden Club and Avenue of Heroes Neighborhood Association (AOHNA). The Blue Star Memorial Highway designation will take effect on January 1, 2017.
“I am pleased and proud that the legislature established Coronado’s Avenue of Heroes as a Blue Star Memorial Highway. This designation honors both Coronado’s long history as a home to the Navy and the service and sacrifice of our service members,” Speaker Emeritus Atkins said. “The theme of the highway, to ‘honor our military,’ serves as a valuable reminder of the dedication and valor demonstrated by members of the Navy and all our branches of the military.”
The Blue Star Memorial Highway program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and National Garden Clubs of America that was instituted after World War II to pay tribute to the nation’s armed forces by honoring select state and national routes that served an important role in defense of our nation.
In 2014, the City of Coronado designated State Route 282 (also known as Third and Fourth Streets from Orange Avenue to Naval Air Station North Island) as the “Coronado Avenue of Heroes” and adopted the companion banner program now implemented along the Avenue. Shortly thereafter, members of AOHNA began working towards the Blue Star designation.
“We are honored that the State of California has recognized the contribution of our neighborhood and the military members and veterans who travel this route to Naval Air Station North Island daily in service to the United States of America,” remarked AOHNA President, Barbara Tato.
Caltrans’ policy is to collaborate with the California Garden Clubs, Inc., in determining the location, design, erection, and maintenance of memorial markers on Blue Star Memorial Highways. The markers range from $450 to $1400 with funds typically acquired through donations.
The Avenue of Heroes Neighborhood Association desires to increase the sense of place and identity of the Third and Fourth Streets corridor through an “Honor Our Military” route theme. Its mission is to create an appropriate environment to honor the men and women recognized in the banner program through the improvement and beautification of Third and Fourth Streets/Coronado Avenue of Heroes.