What you said about station names
749 people voted in our poll on station names. What did you conclude?
In short: Metro should use subtitles for long station names, including Grosvenor, and also short station names with universities in the name. Forest Glen and Waterfront shouldn't gain anything else, while Navy Yard should add Ballpark as a subtitle and King Street add Old Town.
Subtitles had strong support across the board. WMATA staff are recommending subtitles for 12 long station names; 93% of respondents agreed. They left out Grosvenor, partly at the request of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, but 80% of respondents thought that name should also get a subtitle.
8 stations have shorter names including universities. Staff are not yet recommending subtitles for those, but 83% of respondents felt those stations should also use subtitles.
Station renaming proposals
Respondents overwhelmingly agreed with the WMATA staff recommendations on King Street, to add a subtitle, and Forest Glen, to leave the name alone.
|King Street-Old Town||155||21%|
Holy Cross Hospital
|Forest Glen-Holy Cross Hospital||41||6%|
There was also strong, but less unequivocal, support for the staff recommendations of leaving Waterfront with no subtitle and adding Ballpark as a subtitle on Navy Yard.
Respondents split almost exactly 50-50 on whether to add "The National Mall" as a subtitle on Smithsonian, or to leave the name as is. Staff recommended leaving the name; among other reasons, the Mall is near several stations, and Metro often tries to persuade riders to use those other stations during special events.
What about New York Avenue or NoMa? There was not a clear winner, but some useful statistics:
|New York Ave|
Florida Ave-Gallaudet U
|New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U||30||4%|
|New York Ave-NoMa|
|Total with NY Ave||465||64%|
|Total with NoMa||383||53%|
|Total with Gallaudet in subtitle||635||87%|
It might have been better to run this one as an instant runoff vote. The people who picked New York Ave-NoMa [Gallaudet U] clearly liked the New York Ave and NoMa names. But would they rather have just New York Ave and drop NoMa, or keep just NoMa? Is that a reasonable compromise (which is what DDOT thought) or not popular enough (which is what WMATA staff concluded)?
New York Ave seems somewhat more popular than NoMa, though not overwhelmingly so. For many respondents, apparently, the unfamiliarity of or unease with NoMa as a name edged out the fact that the station is really quite misnamed, being actually not so near New York Avenue.
The WMATA Board will discuss the issue today. It appears they would generally do well to accept the staff recommendations, except in one area: they should go farther in using subtitles, not just for the 12 names staff suggest but for all points of interest, like universities and performing arts centers.
It's also fairer this way. Gallaudet students are understandably unhappy their school is one of only 3 to get moved to a subtitle. Riders clearly prefer the subtitles over the alternative, but the board could at least treat all universities equally by moving them all to subtitles.
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