Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Harley Knox Boulevard

Caltrans workers recently installed the signs announcing Harley Knox Boulevard.
Caltrans workers recently installed the signs announcing Harley Knox Boulevard.

Oleander Avenue in Perris is no more.

The east/west corridor along the City’s north side has been renamed Harley Knox Boulevard in honor of long time farmer, developer and economic development consultant.

Caltrans workers installed new highway signs along Interstate 215 Wednesday, Jan. 7.

“Harley Knox and his family have strived long and hard to help build western Riverside County,” said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch. “He worked for many years to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Perris Valley. He always had the interests of the Valley in his heart. It is only fitting this will keep Harley’s contributions alive in our minds for years to come.”

Work to change the roadway, a major artery on Perris’ north end, began soon after Harley Knox died in Oct. 2005. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors gave its blessing to the name change in late 2005 and the Perris City Council unanimously approved the change in 2007.

Cost of the project, including the new signage, totaled about $15,000.

Harley Knox was son of an Oklahoma migrant family escaping the Dust Bowl.  He became a successful farmer, manufacture and later a highly successful real estate developer and economic development consultant. He was instrumental in securing a $7.2 million federal grant that completed the roadway that now bears his name through portions of Perris and Moreno Valley. He also led the effort to realign the roadway and secure funding for the street’s freeway interchange, spurring economic growth in north Perris, March Air Reserve Base and south Moreno Valley.

Active in the community, Knox approached business with the intention of improving the region’s economy and community.  Knox worked with leaders of Perris and Moreno Valley to establish city boundaries and coordinate flood control measures. He was involved in everything from transportation and water infrastructure development to Moreno Valley cityhood incorporation, to the arts and education.

In 1991, Knox was president of the Riverside Community College Foundation when it launched its first major campaign for endowed scholarships.

He died after a short illness.

“My father dedicated his life to the betterment of the region and encouraged others to do the same,” said Aaron Knox, president and founder of TMG Communications, Inc., a public relations/affairs agency based in Riverside.