Loudoun County approves new names for portions of Routes 7 and 50

Virginia

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved new names for Route 7 and Route 50 on Thursday, two popular roadways that were part of the county’s movement to reconsider landmarks and symbols that were named after Confederate and segregationist leaders.

Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) will be called Leesburg Pike, while John Mosby Highway (Route 50) will be called Little River Turnpike. A release said that these new names “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.”

“People who supported the enslavement of others and the segregation of Americans should not continue to be honored today by having roads and facilities named after them or statues on display to pay tribute to them,” Board of Supervisors Vice Chair and Sterling District Supervisor Koran T. Saines said in a release.

WDVM previously reported that the county created a 16-member task force to get community input and review possible name changes.

This change must be approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board, as both are state-controlled highways. Officials will be forwarding these names for final approval in early 2022.

Route 7 connects Loudoun County with Fairfax County on the east and Clarke County on the west. The roadway in Fairfax County is already named Leesburg Pike, while the same road in Clarke County is called Harry Byrd Highway.

Mosby fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, while Byrd served as governor of Virginia and later represented the state in the U.S. Senate. Byrd strongly opposed the integration of Virginia’s public schools, leading a massive resistance campaign against this statewide.

More information about these changes can be found on the county’s website.

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