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Ybor's new Seventh Avenue signs contain errors

Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:45 PM

After weeks of discussion about what to do with street signs along Ybor City's main thoroughfare, the city has produced 13 new signs calling the roadway La Septima.

Just one problem: That's not the wording decided on by the Tampa City Council.

The signs currently on the roadway say Seventh Avenue and La Sétima. The council agreed last week to create street signs sporting all three names: Seventh Avenue, La Sétima and La Séptima.

The new signs, which can be found at the city's transportation department, don't say La Sétima and are missing the accent in Séptima.

The city created the misspelled signs at its in-house sign shop, which creates all the standard street signs within the citym, according to city spokeswoman Ali Glisson.

It was an honest mistake made by city staff trying to be proactive, and the signs will be corrected and used, city officials said.

"Again, this was done at our in-house sign shop so the correction is more easily remedied at minimal cost to taxpayers," Glisson said in an email to The Tampa Tribune.

The incorrect signs follow weeks of debate and confusion about what names to put on the street signs.

Councilwoman Lisa Montelione, who voted last week not to change the signs from their current form because of concerns over cost, was displeased by the error. But, she said, "Mistakes in an organization as big as the city of Tampa and any corporation happen.''

The discussion about what to do with street signs began when a contingent of Ybor residents argued that a nod to the historic neighborhood's Spanish roots, "La Sétima," on Seventh Avenue signs is a misspelling. The mistake, they said, would invite ridicule from thousands of Spanish speakers coming here for the Republican National Convention in August.

They lobbied city leaders to change the signs to what they say is the correct translation of Seventh: "Séptima."

In May the city's Community Redevelopment Agency, which is comprised of council members, recommended the signs be changed to Séptima.

But council members voted against their own recommendation and voted for the option of using all three names.

When the council discussed the item in June, there was resistance from many residents who argued the existing signs reflect neighborhood history and should remain. They said Sétima and Séptima are both correct spellings.

Councilwoman Yvonne Capin floated the idea of including Seventh, Sétima and Séptima on the signs.