FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA – Fairfax County’s Confederate Names Task Force is receiving public feedback on the Lee Highway and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway.
The task force was set up in July by the board of directors to decide whether the two highways should be renamed. In 2020, the board asked the History Commission to prepare an inventory report listing Confederate monuments, street names, and locations in Fairfax County. The report found at least 157 locations within the county with Confederate monuments, names, and locations.
The two highways considered for renaming were the main highways with the Confederate names on the list. Both highway names are associated with Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway references Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Both highways were named or renamed for the Confederate generals between 1919 and 1922.
US Route 29 in Virginia is called the Lee Highway for the most part, except in the City of Falls Church, where it is Washington Street. Arlington County’s board of directors voted to rename its portion of the Lee Highway Langston Boulevard, but there have been no sign changes yet. The Route 309 section of the Lee Highway / Old Lee Highway is already being considered for renaming to Arlington in November.
Lee Highway sign in Arlington County. Emily Leayman / Patch
US Route 50 in Virginia has sections called the Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway and John Mosby Highway, both of which have Confederate references. Route 50 in Fairfax City is known as Fairfax Boulevard and is known as Arlington Boulevard east of Fairfax City in Fairfax County and Arlington County.
The Fairfax County’s task force is asked to make a recommendation to rename the two highways by the end of 2021. If the task force recommends a name change, it would make recommendations on alternative names. The task force has been in session since August and consists of residents and representatives from civic organizations, homeowner associations, religious groups, historical groups and business.
The final decision on the renaming of the motorways lies with the board of directors.
Contributions can be made available to the task force until November 12th. A survey is available online in several languages and from Fairfax County’s libraries and county offices. Comments can also be emailed to DOTConfederateNamesTaskForce@fairfaxcounty.gov; Mail to Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033; or by calling the Fairfax County Department of Transportation at 703-877-5600.
A number of listening sessions will take place in the coming days to collect more input:
- Thursday, October 28, 2021, 7:00 p.m.-8: 30 p.m. Providence Community Center, 3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031
- Saturday, October 30, 2021, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Fairfax County Government Center, Board Auditorium 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA 22030
- Monday, November 1, 2021, 7-8.30 p.m. WebEx Virtual Community Listening Meeting: https://fairfax.webex.com/fairfax/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0c5594bc080cc6ce62b19b3f6f9cfc3a, or call 1-844 -621 -3956 (toll free) with access code 2339 357 4472
- Thursday, November 4, 2021, 7:00 p.m.-8: 30 p.m. Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly, VA 20151
For more information and past meetings, see the Confederate Names Task Force website.