ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Alexandria City Council held a vote on Saturday, approving an ordinance to rename Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway. The unanimous vote 6-0 changes the name of the portion of U.S. Route 1, after three years of extensive public input.
The road name change will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
There has been a large push in recent years to rename and take down sculptures, monuments, and statues named for Confederacy leaders or known slave-owners.
Jefferson Davis Highway, also known as Route 1, passes through much of northern Virginia and south to the North Carolina line.
The roadway, which came into existence in the 1920’s, was sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was planned as a transcontinental highway that would begin in Washington, D.C., pass through many southern states, and end in San Diego.
The City Council says it established an Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names after online petitions were formed in 2015 and decided to change the name after several public meetings and hearings and received hundreds of in-person and written comments.
City Council voted unanimously to direct the City Manager to begin the renaming process after a public hearing in 2016.
The Ad Hoc Advisory Group was appointed by the City Manager in 2017 to gather feedback from residents and develop a list of possible new names.
The Advisory Group unanimously selected "Richmond Highway" as its recommendation for the new road name, chosen from an online survey and public hearing.
There was an initial discussion on May 7, and a written notice was sent out to affected residents and businesses prior to the final public hearing and vote on Saturday.
For more information on the renaming, visit the Alexandria City website.