Arlington's link to Lexington, Concord
UPDATED, Feb. 22: The Battle Road Scenic Byway – the route from Concord through Arlington, in which Colonials fought Red Coats, launching the Revolutionary War – is now an All-American Road.
With this designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation comes recognition of the lasting importance of the events of April 1775 in the greater Boston region.
This byway, constituting Route 2A and Mass. Ave., is the first All-American Road in Massachusetts. The designation credits evidence of intrinsic qualities, demonstrates national or regional significance, touts overall visitor experience and reflects long-term sustainability.
Towns are partnering
“The battles that took place in Arlington in April of 1775 played a key role in the founding of our nation,” said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine in a Feb. 18 news release. “And we are proud to have that history honored with the All-American Road designation in advance of the 250th anniversary of these events coming up in 2025.
“Partnering with Lexington, Lincoln and Concord on the Battle Road Scenic Byway committee project will help to increase the visibility of Arlington’s role during the Revolutionary War,”
The 2021 inclusion in America’s Byways® occurred through the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program.
In June 2020, the Battle Road Byway Committee submitted its application for designation of the Battle Road Byway as an All-America Road. The committee comprises representatives from the towns of Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln and Concord as well as the Minute Man National Historical Park.
The committee, formed in 2013, carries out the activities of the 2011 Battle Road Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan for transportation, land use and tourism along the byway.
The byway follows the approximate path of British regulars on April 19, 1775, during the battles that marked the start of the American Revolution and passes many sites of cultural and historical importance. Stuart Brorson, past president of the Arlington Historical Society, told YourArlington, "That includes Arlington, where the retreating British and colonial forces engaged in a fierce running street battle from roughly Arlington Heights to beyond Arlington Center. The most violent action took place around and inside the Jason Russell House, where 11 Colonists lost their lives to the British regulars. Jason Russell himself was bayoneted to death on the doorstep of his own house.
"Also, earlier that day, several British supply wagons on their way to Concord were captured in Arlington Center by a team of irregulars lead by David Lamson."
The society, which was involved in the Battle Road effort, has a link to the Battle of Menotomy >>
In total, 63 nomination applications were submitted to the National Scenic Byway Foundation. Forty-nine byways in 28 states were designated, including 34 National Scenic Byways and 15 All-American Roads. The designation does not come with any historical-preservation restrictions other than prohibiting billboards on the byway, which were not allowed in any of the member communities before the designation was conferred.
All newly designated byways will be featured in a commemorative 2021 booklet and will be added to the America’s Byways website. For a list of the All-American Roads and National Scenic Byways designated this year, view the 2021 Summary of Designated Byways.
June 26, 2019: Battle Road Byway Committee announces new website
This news summary was published Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, and updated Feb. 22, to clarify text about Arlington details.
FACEBOOK BOX: To see all images, click the PHOTOS link just below