Help Rename Lee Highway

Help Rename Lee Highway
Submit Your Suggestion before Oct 21. (Scroll to page bottom.)

Why is the Lee Highway Alliance going through a renaming process right now?
Lee Highway, through the Plan Lee Highway Process, is in the midst of a comprehensive re-planning. It is the right time to find a name that reflects Arlington County’s values, promotes equity, and is welcoming to all people who work on, live on, and visit the Corridor. This effort will make recommendations for both “Lee” and “Highway”:
● Gen. Robert E. Lee represents a dark era in American history. Lee Highway should be renamed to represent a forward-thinking and welcoming Arlington, not the symbol of the Confederacy and Jim Crow (more on our website).
● The word “Highway” does not convey an attractive place that is consistent with the Main Street envisioned by the thousands of residents, property owners, and businesses that have already weighed in during the Visioning Study and the Plan Lee Highway Process.

When and how will the new name be decided?
LHA has assembled a Working Group of 25 Lee Highway residents and business owners. During meetings held throughout the fall and early winter, the Working Group on Renaming Lee Highway will:
● Agree upon Evaluation Criteria.
● Evaluate names submitted by the public based on the Criteria.
● Reduce the long list to a shortlist of 10-12 names.
● Send the shortlist to be evaluated by Special Advisory Groups on Transportation, Business, Institutions, and Neighborhoods and be publicly polled by the community.
● Based on Advisory Group and community input and dialogue during meetings, select one preferred name and 2-4 alternatives.
● Send the results to the LHA Board for review. The LHA Board will submit the names chosen by the Working Group to the Arlington County Board.

Why is it important for the Arlington community as a whole to work on this?
The decision to rename streets, bridges, or buildings honoring the Confederacy and its leaders is one that upholds Arlington’s values of inclusivity and equity – values that helped lead the effort to rename Jefferson Davis Highway in 2019. The work to rename Lee Highway is supported by the County’s broader commitment to prioritize and advance racial equity.

Who is the actual decider on the final name?
Since Lee Highway is owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State will be the ultimate decider on the new words. The County Board will work with either the Commonwealth Transportation Board or with the General Assembly to finalize the name selection. There is a precedent, as last year Arlington renamed Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway.

Is the process about whether to change the name or what to change it to?
The Working Group’s charge is to select one preferred name choice and 2-4 alternatives. While LHA is capturing all public comment on the matter, the result of the Working Group will be recommendations for the new name for Lee Highway.

How do Arlingtonians get their suggestions into the mix for consideration?
Name suggestions can be made on LHA’s website and will be accepted through Oct 21. Arlingtonians will also be asked to fill out a poll indicating their top choices once the Working Group narrows the list of names to 10-12. Polling will begin on Oct 23 and end Nov 30.
Submit Your Suggestion before Oct 21. (Scroll to page bottom.)
Rename Lee Highway Website
County News Release