Sometimes it snows in April. Sometimes highway signs are purple.
Legislators saw firsthand the truth of Prince’s words on a chilly, overcast Friday before voting overwhelmingly in support of the “Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.” Purple signs would be mandated to mark the proposed designation.
Supported by purple-clad legislators of both parties, the bill passed the House 121-0 Friday – the seventh anniversary of Prince’s death – and next goes onto the Senate.
“Prince brought people together not only through his music, but through his advocacy of public library access, education, civil rights, and more,” Rehm said in a statement following the bill’s earlier approval by the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. “It’s a tremendous privilege to work with Minnesotans and all the advocates to recognize and honor Prince’s contributions to our state, our country, and the world.”
The “Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway” would run from west from Mitchell Road in Eden Prairie to Highway 41 in Chanhassen, past Prince’s former home and studio, Paisley Park, which is now open to the public.
The bill would also alter the Augie Mueller Memorial Highway honoring the former legislator by moving its eastern border to Highway 41 rather than its current Highway 101. Conversations with Mueller’s family indicated they are amenable to the change in one section of the road.
“We want to keep that highway in his name, but we wanted to designate a section for Prince,” Rehm said.
Private parties have raised the approximately $3,000 needed to pay for the signs and have committed to help pay for maintenance. Purple signs would deviate from standard white on brown prescribed by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Sen. Julia Coleman (R-Waconia) said during a Senate Transportation Committee hearing in February she doesn’t believe this would set a precedent, because there isn’t a precedent quite like that of Prince.