Homeowners, renters react to pending removal of Gen. Lee statue: 'I think it is overdue'

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 18:24:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- One of the biggest and recognizable symbols of the Confederacy is scheduled to come down in Richmond on Wednesday.

One hundred and thirty-one years after it was erected and 156 years after his surrender effectively ended the U.S. Civil War, a giant statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee will be removed from Monument Avenue.

The state announced the statue's removal will take place on Wednesday, September 8. The announcement came less than a week after the Virginia Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state could remove the statue.

Drivers who live or work on the streets that surround the Lee statue found signs warning of pending road closures and parking restrictions.

Towing will be enforced within a one-mile radius surrounding the statue from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 6 p.m. Saturday, according to the signs.

“I think it is overdue. I’m not apprehensive at all. I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Monument Avenue homeowner Jim Ludwig. “[It’s a] minor inconvenience to do the right thing is easy. Generally speaking, it’s a lot harder to do the right thing. This was a minor inconvenience and I expect the same going forward.”

Many homeowners in the area have a backyard of alley parking, like Ludwig. However, some renters will have a tougher time finding temporary spots.

One Monument Avenue renter told CBS 6 that she’s purchasing a $120 parking pass in a nearby garage, so her car doesn’t get towed this week.

Another resident on West Grace Street was worried the expanded parking restrictions will also impact public services like garbage pickup.

“It’s a long time coming,” said Cecile Myers, who lives on Monument Avenue. “There’s a lot of people who wanted it done, and a lot of people who didn’t. But I think everyone is going to breathe a sigh of relief when it is done.”

The city also planned to close the streets that lead to the Lee statue to all traffic on Tuesday night. The state will also install fencing along Monument Avenue and Allen Street.

Removal of the statue is scheduled to take place the next day.

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