Loudoun County is taking suggestions from the public on new names for Rt. 7, Harry Byrd Highway, and Rt. 50, John Mosby Highway, at loudoun.gov/renaming7and50.
And after concerns from Rt. 7 and Rt. 50 Renaming Task Force member Alicia Cohen that the previous schedule did not give the public enough time to get their suggestions in, the county will accept submissions through Friday, July 30, an extension beyond the original schedule.
The county government is seeking to rename the two roads, which are named for the chief architect of “massive resistance” to desegregating Virginia schools, lawmaker and former governor Harry Byrd, and Confederate Army Col. John Mosby.
In addition to meeting the local and state naming standards, the names should be appropriate to Loudoun County and Northern Virginia history and culture, reflect the natural or cultural geography of Loudoun County, are not already used or sound like another street in Loudoun County, and are considerate, sensitive and respectful to all Loudoun County residents.
There is a tool online to check street name availability at logis.loudoun.gov/streetrenameavailability.
After gathering suggestions for new names, the county’s Rt. 7 and Rt. 50 Renaming Task Force will narrow the list to 10 possible names for each roadway, which are then scheduled for review and approval by the Board of Supervisors in September. After that review, the public will again be asked for feedback to rank the short list of names by preference. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to review those results and approve a new name at their meeting Dec. 7.
The county board’s selected names will then go to the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board for ultimate approval.
Loudoun County supervisors in December voted to start the work of renaming Rt. 7 and Rt. 50. In May, they followed up by setting out a process for coming up with and recommending new names for those highways, creating the renaming committee.
Members of a renaming task force have already begun their work, including debating whether to consider naming the roads after other individuals.
Rt. 50 in Fairfax County immediately adjacent to Loudoun is named Lee Jackson Memorial Highway.