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‘Paterno Way’? Petition to rename street near Penn State gains steam

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There is a local push in State college to name Park Ave, Paterno Way to honor late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Park Ave is notable because Paterno used to walk the street to and from work for decades.

Tony Ricciardi, the WBUS program director who helped start the movement to have the street name changed, wrote about why Park Avenue was chosen in a letter to council members on Feb. 29:

"[Park Avenue] intersects with McKee Street [where the Paternos live], runs along dormitories and classrooms, Beaver Stadium and the Mount Nittany Medical Center. The road represents [Paterno's] State College life from beginning to end. It is also a street shared between campus, the State College community and the state of Pennsylvania. Joe Paterno was not just about campus or the just the community; he was about the whole area, shared by all."

Paterno used to walk Park Avenue to and from work, and the Catholic faith center being built on that street will ultimately be named after Sue Paterno. Paterno die

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(Andrew Weber/US Presswire)

d at the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

WBUS started the street-naming petition on Jan. 23 after Paterno died of lung cancer. The document has more than 7,000 signatures from across the country and more than 100 of those are from people who live in College Township and State College borough, which the street runs through.

According to, the street name could be changed without formal approval from the state even though the street also has a state-assigned route number, which cannot be altered. The website said College Township council members heard the name-change idea last week and were receptive to it. State College Borough Council members will hear the idea today and a public hearing could be scheduled as early as April.

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