Renaming Route 7 and Route 50
Board of Supervisors Approves New Names for Route 7 and Route 50
On December 7, 2021, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to approve new names for Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50) within unincorporated areas of Loudoun County. The Board approved changing the name of Harry Byrd Highway to Leesburg Pike and changing the name of John Mosby Highway to Little River Turnpike. These designations honor the names traditionally used for these roads, which were developed as major transportation and trade routes between Alexandria and the Shenandoah Valley in the early 1800s.
In September 2020, the Board of Supervisors initiated a review of Confederate and segregationist symbols in Loudoun County. At a subsequent meeting, on December 15, 2020, the Board approved the creation of an inventory of Confederate and segregationist symbols in Loudoun County. At that meeting, the Board also directed staff to initiate the process of renaming Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50), in potential coordination with Fairfax County, and report back to the Board with a proposed process and cost estimate by May 2021.
These board actions resulted in two projects, conducted by a multi-departmental team, including staff from the Departments of Planning and Zoning and Transportation and Capital Infrastructure and the Office of Mapping and Geographic Information:
Inventory of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols
Renaming Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50)
- Route 7 extends across the entire county and connects with Clarke County to the west and Fairfax County to the east. In Fairfax County, immediately adjacent to Loudoun, Route 7 is named Leesburg Pike. The name Harry Byrd Highway continues into Clarke County. 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 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 county sought public input for the renaming of Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50). The public submissions were reviewed for regulatory compliance and to meet the local and state naming standards.
- Loudoun County created a tool to assist the public in checking a proposed name against the naming criteria. The naming criteria included: being appropriate to Loudoun County and Northern Virginia history and culture; reflecting the natural or cultural geography of Loudoun County; not already being used or sounding like another street in Loudoun County; and are considerate, sensitive, and respectful to all Loudoun County residents.
- A task force, comprising representatives from throughout the community, narrowed the list down to ten alternate names for each roadway, which were reviewed and approved by the Board of Supervisors in September. Following the board’s review, the public ranked the short list of names in order of preference. The Board of Supervisors reviewed the public’s recommendations and approved the new names in December 2021.
- The approved name for each roadway will be sent to the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board for ultimate approval
- Two virtual public meetings took place on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. The meeting presentation and recordings are available for viewing in the Public Information Meeting folder in Meeting Documents below.
Current Phase: Complete
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Task Force Meetings
- The task force held its first meeting on July 7, 2021. Review the meeting agenda and recording.
- The task force held its second meeting on August 11, 2021. Review the meeting agenda and recording.
- The task force held its third and final meeting on October 20, 2021. Review the meeting agenda and recording.
All Task Force meeting documents and recordings are also provided in Meeting Documents below.
The Renaming Route 7 and Route 50 Task Force included the following community members:
- Alicia Cohen, Heritage Commission
- Derrick Clark, Heritage Commission
- Cliff Keirce, Heritage Commission
- Lori Kimball, Heritage Commission
- Robert Pollard, Heritage Commission
- Michelle Thomas, Heritage Commission
- Margaret Good, Heritage Commission
- Rolando Rosas, Algonkian District
- Stephanie Rasul, Ashburn District
- Cheryl Hutchison, Blue Ridge District
- Daniel Eisert, Broad Run District
- Mark Miller, Catoctin District
- Robin Burke, Chair At Large
- Gary Smith, Dulles District
- Grafton Debutts, Leesburg District
- Abby Peterson, Sterling District
- Resolution of the Commonwealth Transportation Board - Leesburg Pike (PDF)
- Resolution of the Commonwealth Transportation Board - Little River Turnpike (PDF)
- December 7, 2021 Board of Supervisors Meeting: Final Name Recommendations for Renaming Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50) (PDF)
- September 15, 2020 Board of Supervisors Meeting: Review of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County
- December 15, 2020: Response to Board Member Initiative: Review of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County
- December 15, 2020: Review of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County Board Presentation
- May 18, 2021: Board of Supervisors Meeting: Response to Board Member Initiative: Proposed Process and Cost Estimate for Renaming Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50)
- Loudoun County Codified Ordinance – General Naming Standards
- §33.2-213 of the Code of Virginia - Naming highways, bridges, interchanges, and other transportation facilities.
- Naming bridges and state highways (VDOT)
- Vicinity Map
- Search Board of Supervisors documents for information related to this project.
- Read about Loudoun County's Naming of Streets Ordinance (Chapter 1020)
- Read more about the Code of Virginia naming of highways.
- Read more about VDOT's naming of highways.
- Loudoun County GIS Contact Information and Disclaimer