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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
FairfaxOpinionEditorial: Just go with numbers on highway addresses

Editorial: Just go with numbers on highway addresses

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Sometimes, change is logical and makes too much sense. That’s when you have to worry that it will never be put into place.

Such is the case with the renaming of a number of Fairfax County roadways, where the most sensible solution is to forget about names altogether and just go with their numbers.

Fairfax County leaders, in their best wokester self-flagellation, opted to exorcise Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from two major thoroughfares – Lee Highway and Lee-Jackson Highway – and then opened it up to the public for suggested alternatives.

From those who weighed in, a clear majority wanted to eschew names altogether and simply use the roadways’ route names: U.S. Route 29 and U.S. Route 50, respectively.

Such a move solves the problem of what happens when today’s celebrated individual becomes another generation’s pariah. Renaming of facilities would become a lather-rinse-repeat, never-ending cycle.

(Arlington election officials, who far outdo even their Fairfax counterparts in virtue-signaling, opted for “Langston Boulevard” to replace “Lee Highway” as the name of its stretch of Route 29. The name honors a 19th-century former slave from downstate who briefly served in Congress during the Reconstruction era. Even though there was no direct link between Arlington and John M. Langston, his achievements are certainly worth commemorating. What Arlington officials, Democrats to their core, didn’t realize until after they’d announced the name switch was that Langston had been . . . a Republican. Irony is fun!)

During the entirety of Fairfax’s renaming charade – the fix was in from the start – we opined that we didn’t really care one way or another if Lee and Jackson remained on the roads. But given that they’re goners, we, like the majority of respondents to the survey, think that “Route 29” and “Route 50” are the best way to proceed.

We’ll see if supervisors have the sense to agree.

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