John Mosby, Harry Byrd

Confederate commander John Mosby and former Virginia Gov. Harry F. Byrd.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday during its business meeting to approve a short list of recommended roadway names for Route 7 and Route 50, also known as Harry Byrd Highway and John Mosby Highway, respectively.

Vice Chairman Koran Saines (D-Sterling) authored the initiative last September.

A task force, comprised of representatives from throughout the community, narrowed down the list of submissions. The next step is for the public to rank the short list of names in order of preference. The Board of Supervisors will then review the public’s recommendations and approve the new names in December.

Leesburg Pike and Little River Turnpike were the previous roadway names before renamed.

Renaming Route 7 Leesburg Pike would not be permissible without the renaming of other secondary roads that would then be in conflict as defined by the Naming of Streets Ordinance, according to the Sept. 21 staff report.

Additionally, renaming Route 50 Little River Turnpike would also be a conflict with the ordinance and could create an adverse impact on public safety response concerns.

The board directed staff to begin contacting residents on Little River Lane to discuss renaming the roadway to comply with the road name duplication criteria of the Naming of Streets ordinance and to avoid adverse impacts on public safety if Route 50 is renamed Little River Turnpike.

Loudoun started accepting highway name submissions on July 30.

A task force, comprising of representatives from throughout the community, narrowed down the list of submissions. The public will begin ranking the short list of names in order of preference on Sept. 30, according to staff’s Tuesday presentation. 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 board initiated the process of renaming the highways 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, visit loudoun.gov/renaming7and50

(1) comment

jke

Loudoun would be a better place if Mosby and Byrd were in charge instead of the modern day haters!

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