‘Extreme disappointment’ from Piscataway Tribe as Maryland law fails to rename Route 210

Despite earlier reports, Indian Head Highway in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is not being renamed.

Last month, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a law dedicating the 20-mile stretch of Route 210 as Piscataway Highway. But the bill doesn’t actually change the name of the road.

The Maryland Department of Transportation confirmed to WTOP that the language of the law refers to a dedication, not a renaming. However, two signs are scheduled to be put up designating Route 210 as Piscataway Highway by October.

In response, Piscataway Tribe Member Kyle Swann called for lawmakers to honor the intent of the law and pursue an official name change.

“To be clear, having the name of Indian Head Highway protected through the various layers of local and state governments, organizations, administrations, etcetera, is within the same light as the many bureaucratic loopholes that have and are currently contributing to the generational traumas of colonialism, racism, segregation and exclusivism the Piscataway people endure.”

The tribe has worked for seven years to get lawmakers to acknowledge the history of the name and the reason behind their desire for change. NBC Washington’s Tracee Wilkins first reported the story and spoke with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jay Walker, D-District 26, about how the law missed its target.

“That’s just not what the legislative body wanted to do. We wanted to change the name of the highway to not say Indian Head Highway, period. Not a designation,” he told NBC Washington.

WTOP has contacted Walker and the governor’s office and hasn’t received a response.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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