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Are we Northern Virginia?
Introduction to: Is Fredericksburg now in Northern Virginia?

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Date published: 5/11/2008

By Karen Owen

In Virginia, when you order tea in a restaurant, what you get might depend upon where you reside. In Northern Virginia, you might need to specify that you'd like it iced if you so prefer during one of the winter months. South of there, a more likely scenario means you'll automatically get iced tea, even if it's a snowy January evening. In Southside Virginia, the tea will not only be iced, it might be sweetened as well.

This analogy is an introduction to this week's Viewpoints topic. We asked several area residents if they think Fredericksburg and environs have experienced a boundary change. Not so much regarding tea, mind you, but regarding population growth, traffic congestion, suburban sprawl, the VRE and long commutes, an increased military presence, and proximity to Washington, the question has been posed:

Is Fredericksburg now in Northern Virginia?

Of course, along with the bad, we must consider the many good aspects of Northern Virginia: employment opportunities; a friendly, educated, and multicultural populace; good schools; a healthy tax base and excellent services; and proximity to world-class museums, cultural offerings, and professional sports.

It's easy for me to look at it from both angles. I was reared in Fairfax, but have lived for the last 30 years in the capital of the Confederacy. I know from sweet tea!

Some of our contributors will say that, no, our region is not in Northern Virginia--not yet. Richmonders, however, almost to a person, would say that it is. The site of great Southern victories during "the recent unpleasantness" notwithstanding, the large clusters of town-home communities situated off the exit ramps of the interstate might indicate that things have changed, whether we're willing to admit it or not.

What do you think?

--Karen Owen, Viewpoints Editor


We're located almost exactly halfway between our nation's capital and the old capital of the Confederacy.