Opinion

Poll: How should Alexandria handle Confederate-honoring street renaming?

Forrest Street, named for Nathan Bedford Forrest (image via Google Maps)

As Alexandria moves forward with renaming streets Confederate leaders, the City Council is starting to take a look at some of the practical concerns that brings.

Alexandria City Council member John Chapman went on FOX 5’s DMV Zone yesterday to talk about options the city is looking at for street renaming, though solutions could vary by individual streets.

The definitive ends of the spectrum are full renaming — the way Alexandria renamed its portion of Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway — or leaving the name intact. But Chapman said there are a few options being considered in between those.

One Chapman discussed could be an “honorific name” — where the street addresses stay the same on official documents but the street signs might carry a new name. The 1000 block of Montgomery Street, for instance, is Earl F. Lloyd Way on the signs in honor of the NBA player who grew up there.

Another would be leaving a street name intact but changing the attribution, like changing Jefferson Davis Highway to honor Spider-Man Miles Morales’ bafflingly named father, Jefferson Davis. The cases where this could work are obviously limited, but the Alexandria Times noted there is already some uncertainty over which Lee Alexandria’s Lee Street honors.

“The idea is repositioning some of the names for folks who believe that’s the way to do it,” Chapman said. “For others, that doesn’t cut it, and you need to go away with the first and last name of the street. It depends on the perspective of the community members.”

Chapman said a public hearing is likely for June to review some of the first names.

While the truth is the solution may depend on a case-by-case basis, in general: which direction do you lean when it comes to renaming streets honoring Confederate leaders?

Photo via Google Maps