George Washington Memorial Parkway has been designated an official "America Byway." This designation makes it part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Scenic Byways map and Web site, expanding its exposure to domestic and international travelers alike.
"We are extremely pleased to hear this great news. The designation as an America Byway holds tremendous importance for Alexandria's tourism industry and has significant potential for our tourism marketing programs," said Jo Anne Mitchell, president and CEO, Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association.
"Because of Alexandria's location between the two major segments of the parkway, it is essentially part of any visit to Alexandria. We are so fortunate to have an America Byway going right through the heart of our historic city," she said.
More than nine million people per year enjoy leisure time along the parkway, according to the National Park Service. It is one of four federal parkways in Virginia to receive the America Byway designation by the Federal Highway Administration, according to Laura Overstreet, vice president, ACVA Communications.
As part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the parkway links numerous scenic bike trails in Northern Virginia with the World War II Heritage Trail, created in 2004 in honor of the dedication of the World War II Memorial. The Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium, of which Alexandria is a member, was instrumental in the development of both these trails.
The first section of the parkway was completed in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. Alexandria's Washington Street is an official part of the parkway. As a result, it is subject to historic development requirements.