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Arlington, Alexandria Consider Name Changes for Jefferson Davis, Lee Highways

Long before last weekend’s tragic events in Charlottesville, Arlington County and the city of Alexandria had both taken action to rename the parts of Jefferson Davis Highway that run through their respective municipalities. Looks like a name change is now under consideration for Lee Highway as well.

“Arlington is committed to seeking the authority from the General Assembly to rename both Jefferson Davis and Lee highways within our boundaries,” the Arlington County Board said in a statement released Thursday night. “Our legislative delegation is committed to putting legislation forward on Jefferson Davis Highway. Arlington believes that local governments should have the authority to name any roadways within our borders.”

Both Alexandria and Arlington established the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Renaming Jefferson Davis Highway. The group will next solicit feedback on the name change during a public meeting Sept. 25. It will make final recommendations for a new name in October.

Virginia law grants cities the authority to change the names of roads, but counties must gain state approval.

The city of Alexandria has been taking suggestions from the public for a new name for U.S. Route 1, named for the one and only president of the Confederate States of America. Alexandria has established an online tool to submit your suggestions, which you can access here. The submission deadline is Sept. 15.

The Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to begin the process of the name change in September 2016. A city panel will send its top recommendation to the city manager in October.

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