Miranda Jackson, WRC-TV, May 15, 2019
The stretch of U.S. Route 1 and Virginia Route 110 that goes through Arlington, Virginia, will have its name changed from Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway as the county requested, the Commonwealth Transportation Board announced.
“While it is necessary for us to honestly discuss and interpret Virginia’s history, I feel strongly that commemorating the president of the Confederacy through the name of a major thoroughfare is not appropriate,” Gov. Ralph Northam wrote in a letter read at the meeting where the change was announced.
In March, Attorney General Mark Herring issued an opinion that the Commonwealth Transportation Board has the authority to rename the highway and doesn’t need approval from the General Assembly.
“It’s 2019. It is not 1865, nor 1922, nor even 1953,” Levine said. “We live in a post-Charlottesville time. And the vast majority of Northern Virginia no longer wants to honor the Confederacy or the racist legacy of Jefferson Davis.”
On Jan. 1, the section of Jefferson Davis Highway through the city of Alexandria was renamed Richmond Highway to match the name the road has always carried in Fairfax County.
The county estimates it will have to spend $17,000 to pay for new street signs. County officials say the changes will be implemented by Oct. 1.
[Editor’s Note: Readers should follow the link to read more about the attorney general’s “reinterpretation” of the law.]