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Posted on July 14, 2021 at 10:03 AM by Heidi Kellum
Loudoun County is seeking public input for the renaming of Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50). Members of the public are encouraged to visit the renaming project page to submit names for consideration.
Individuals should first use the county’s online tool to check a proposed name against the naming criteria. In addition to meeting the local and state naming standards, the names should be appropriate to Loudoun County and northern Virginia history and culture, reflect the natural or cultural geography of Loudoun County, are not already used or sound like another street in Loudoun County, and are considerate, sensitive and respectful to all Loudoun County residents.
Then, individuals should submit names through an online form, which is open now through Friday, July 30, 2021. The public submissions will be reviewed for regulatory compliance and to meet the local and state naming standards.
A task force, comprising representatives from throughout the community, will narrow the list down to ten alternate names for each roadway, which will be reviewed and approved by the Board of Supervisors in September. Following the board’s review, the public will then rank the short list of names in order of preference. The Board of Supervisors will review the public’s recommendations and approve the new names in December.
The approved name for each roadway will be sent to the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board for ultimate approval.
In December 2020, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors initiated the process of renaming Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50) in collaboration with regional jurisdictions.
Route 7 extends across the entire county and connects with Clarke County to the west and Fairfax County to the east. Harry F. Byrd Sr. was the governor of Virginia from 1926 to 1930 and a U.S. senator from 1933 to 1965. A proponent of Virginia’s highway system, he was an opponent of school desegregation. The State Highway Commission named Route 7 in memory of Harry Byrd on November 21, 1968.
Route 50 also extends across the entire county and connects with Fauquier County to the west and Fairfax County to the east with portions of it weaving in and out of Fauquier County. The road is named John S. Mosby Highway in Fauquier County. Route 50 in Fairfax County immediately adjacent to Loudoun is named Lee Jackson Memorial Highway. The General Assembly named Route 50 in memory of John Singleton Mosby, a Confederate Army colonel, on April 1, 1982.
The renaming of these two roadways is one of two projects that have resulted from the Board’s initiation, in September 2020, of a review of Confederate and segregationist symbols in the county.
For more information about the Renaming Route 7 and Route 50 project, including a link to sign up for updates about the project and information regarding upcoming public meetings, visit the project page.