Secondary Street Sign FAQs

What is a Secondary Street Sign?

Per Chapter 43 of the 2019 Detroit City Code, a street may be assigned a secondary street sign which displays a different name than the official street name for the purpose of honorary recognition. 

Who can be nominated for a Secondary Street Sign?

The proposed honoree must:  

  • Positively exemplify the cultural, social, economic, or political history of the City, State, Nation, or World. 
  • Be a Detroit resident for a cumulative time of not less than ten years.  
  • Be deceased for a period of not less than five years.* 
*Exceptions to the nomination criteria

The person must be deceased for a period of not less than five years, unless either: 

  • The person is deceased, and 
    1. Held a public office in the federal government; 
    2. Died, or sustained an injury that caused death, while performing his or her duty as a police officer, firefighter, or member of the emergency medical services for the City; or 
    3. Served as a member of the United States Armed Forces, including the reserve components, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, or died while on active duty in the United States Armed Forces; or 
  • The person is either alive or deceased; and 
    1. The secondary street sign is requested by a City Council member pursuant to the procedure provided in Subdivision C of this division; and 
    2. Separate letters of concurrence from at least three City Council members, including the City Council member who submitted the request, describing the particular circumstances, which justify exempting the proposed honoree from the requirement that an honoree be deceased for a period of not less than five years, are attached to the request when forwarded to the Legislative Policy Division pursuant to Section 43-3-61(b) of this Code in addition to the other attachments required by Section 43-3-61(c) of this Code.
How long does a Secondary Street Sign last?

Five (5) years. 

Where is a Secondary Street Sign located?

It will be placed above and be of a different color than the official street sign. A maximum of one secondary street sign shall be placed at only one identified intersection in the area significant to the honoree's historical residence or the location of the honoree's historical contribution.

What are the costs associated with a Secondary Street Sign?

Non-refundable $675.00 application fee. Currently, only checks or money orders are accepted. Checks must be made payable to “City of Detroit” and submitted to the Legislative Policy Division. No refunds are issued even in the case of a honoree not being selected for a street sign. There is an additional $400.00 installation fee if selected. 

How many honorees can receive a Secondary Street Sign each year?

No more than five (5) honorees. 

Is the application competitive?

Yes. City Council can only select up to five (5) applications each year.  Submitting a complete application and paying the non-refundable $675.00 application fee does not guarantee being selected for a secondary sign. Historically, there have been more than five (5) petitions each year. 

How does the official petition form work?

Petitions are provided by the Office of the City Clerk. The petition shall state in bold face type that the consent of two-thirds of those who own or occupy property, which abuts the street and are within 300 linear feet of the intersection where the secondary street sign is proposed to be located, is required. No form other than that provided by the City Clerk shall be accepted as a valid petition for the assignment of a secondary street sign. 

What can delay my application?

Applications with missing or insufficient supporting documentation or an unpaid application fee will result in delayed processing.