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More than 260,000 people sign petition to rename street in front of Trump Tower after Obama

According to the organizer, the petition “started as a joke.”

Trump Tower, pictured above in a file photo from January 2018. An online petition requesting the street in front of the building be renamed “President Barack H. Obama Avenue” has gained over 260,000 signatures.

A petition on to rename a New York City street in front of Trump Tower after former President Barack Obama has attracted more than 260,000 signatures.

The petition, addressed to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, requests that “the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets be renamed ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue.’”

Trump Tower is at 725 5th Avenue.

“I honestly started it as a joke,” Elizabeth Rowin, the petition’s organizer said to Newsweek. “I saw a comedian joke about how it would make Trump so mad if it was named after former President Obama and thought why not.”

The petition is unlikely to succeed, though. According to a 2012 city video outlining New York City’s street renaming rules, the honoree must be deceased and have the support of a petition signed by 75% of the local residents.

Obama, while out of political office, is not deceased.

Furthermore, the local community board has placed a moratorium on street renaming, District Manager Wally Rubin told USA TODAY.

“I am sure the conditions can be changed,” Rowin told Newsweek when the outlet asked her about the city’s prohibitions on renaming streets after living people. Rowin added that “These laws are arbitrary and can be worked around.”

The tactic of renaming a street after a figure’s political opponent is not uncommon. In Washington, D.C. petitioners had the street in front of the Russian embassy named after murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Petitioners have also advocated for the street in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy to be named after murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.