Greater Greater Washington

Help choose station names for new Crystal City transitway

Arlington County is seeking your input in naming stations on the new Crystal City/Potomac Yard (CCPY) Transitway, the first phase of which will provide Bus Rapid Transit service over part of a 5-mile corridor between the Pentagon in Arlington and Braddock Road Metro Station in Alexandria.


CCPY Transitway Proposed Station Stops

Arlington County has been moving aggressively with the project and is finalizing the designs for the portion that will run from the Crystal City Metro station to Four Mile Run, which separates Arlington from the City of Alexandria. As part of the design, the County has identified eight station stops and is seeking input from the community on station names.

Station names carry a particular significance as many of the bus rapid transit stations will become the core of a future light rail line, if current longer term planning carries through.

With few exceptions, the survey's choices pit effective wayfinding against more colorful, albeit sometimes less useful, station names. For most stations, it presents a fairly descriptive choice, such as "27th and Crystal" and a more creative option like "Potomac Yard Gateway." The survey also asks whether to name the key transfer station at the Crystal City Metro station "Metro Gateway" or "Crystal City Metro."

As for Alexandria's portion, the City received an $8.5 million design/build grant for the CCPY Transitway. It is anticipated that a design/build firm will be selected and under contract later this month.

The project will begin this fall with construction to be completed in Winter 2013. It is anticipated that a the bulk of Alexandria's portion will run along a dedicated center lane on Highway 1.

The survey is short and simple. If you think you might be likely to use the CCPY Transitway, you should make sure your voice is heard. Please share your preferences (or any suggestions for alternatives) in the comments.

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Eric Hallstrom is attorney interested in political law, public policy, urban planning and music. He lives in Arlington, VA. 

Comments

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We could let WMATA name them! How about 18th Street/Crystal Drive, Airport/Crystal Drive, 22nd Street/Crystal Drive, Potomac Yard/Crystal Drive, Glebe Road/Crystal Drive, so on and so forth.

by Steve D on Nov 4, 2011 12:39 pm • linkreport

Anne-Marie, Beatrice, Claudine, Dominique, Eliane, Françoise, Gabrielle.

by Frank IBC on Nov 4, 2011 12:51 pm • linkreport

Please don't let them name everything "_____ Gateway"!

by John M on Nov 4, 2011 1:05 pm • linkreport

+1 @John M

They need some more creativity.

by MW on Nov 4, 2011 1:14 pm • linkreport

The problem for the naming is twofold: right now, Crystal City does not have many recognizable locations, aside from the Water Park, the Metro, and individual businesses; and significant, only partially-defined redevelopment and redesign of CC is planned in the years ahead. The first means that it is hard to identify anything other than a wayfinder name for many of the stop locations (and even wayfinders are problematic because of the superblocks/incomplete street grid). The second makes it a little too early to identify good "aspirational" names that could come to define portions of the overall CC neighborhood, the way that many Metro stops have.

A third problem is that the county seems to be fascinated with the word "Gateway," even though: 1) its use is likely to cause confusion with the existing "Crystal Gateway"; and 2) the way the CC neighborhood flows into neighboring Potomac Yards and Pentagon City and across Route 1 to abut Aurora Highlands means that none of these spots forms an identifiable gateway.

Probably the best approach would be to use the best possible wayfinding spots now, but revisit the names in the future as development progresses. And given the concentrated area of Crystal City in which these stops fall(and the likelihood that it will continue to be defined by commercial entities -- whether residential, retail, restaurant, or office), the CCPY transitway may well be the ideal place to permit/encourage/sell station sponsorships.

by Arl Anon on Nov 4, 2011 1:16 pm • linkreport

Potomac Avenue is open and I have driven on it and across the bridge a few times. Really shaping up. I've always been bullish on Crystal City.

by spookiness on Nov 4, 2011 1:26 pm • linkreport


Naming after the private developers' building names is a bad idea -- those names are completely useless for transit users. Unlike rail stations, bus stops don't get so much traffic that the stop names will become the neighborhood names.

So, unless the names of sub-neighborhoods or landmarks get into common usage, it's best to stick with intersections. If you're going to 2750 Crystal Drive, it's easy to figure out you want the "27th and Crystal" stop.

by Novanglus on Nov 4, 2011 1:39 pm • linkreport

Don't forget that new and developing community
"CRYSI"

by zzindc on Nov 4, 2011 1:46 pm • linkreport

CRYSCI
Wasn't all that clever to begin with, and less so misspelled
DOH

by ZZinDC on Nov 4, 2011 1:48 pm • linkreport

Will there be a Crystal City Restaurant stop?

by curiousgeorge on Nov 4, 2011 2:59 pm • linkreport

"Will there be a Crystal City Restaurant stop?"

All they have to do is swtich the labels on Stations "F" and "G"

by Kolohe on Nov 4, 2011 3:15 pm • linkreport

"It is anticipated that a the bulk of Alexandria's portion will run along a dedicated center lane on Highway 1."

What's going to drive people nuts (npi) is that they just built Potomac Ave, then are going to tear up the north portion again for this project, then tear it up potentially yet again if the Potomac Yards infill station winds up above ground and west of the CSX tracks.

by Kolohe on Nov 4, 2011 3:19 pm • linkreport

@Frank:

Was that a Dien Bien Phu reference?

by Ronald on Nov 4, 2011 3:37 pm • linkreport

The simplest solution would be to replicate the logic of the underground walk way which mostly is about cross-street names.

by Rich on Nov 4, 2011 5:42 pm • linkreport

I agree with Rich. For a surface system, I think cross streets would be most logical, there don't need to be station names at all. Everything is easily visible from the rider's seat. Although more streets are planned, within CC there are relatively few cross streets by nature due to the superblock design, so they are already prominent, familiar, and well-known.

by spookiness on Nov 4, 2011 10:56 pm • linkreport

@Ronald:

Yes. :)

If battlefields (and hurricanes) can have beautiful French women's names, then why can't bus stops?

by Frank IBC on Nov 5, 2011 9:26 am • linkreport

Street names are simplest, no need for intersections. Only one street name is duplicated and it can be differentiated by east and west. The line's destination should be called "Potomac Yard" since that's where it goes.

by Omar on Nov 5, 2011 11:31 pm • linkreport

So, unless the names of sub-neighborhoods or landmarks get into common usage, it's best to stick with intersections. If you're going to 2750 Crystal Drive, it's easy to figure out you want the "27th and Crystal" stop.

100% agree. I just took the survey and chose the intersections in every single case where they were available. For the Crystal City Metro one, I just chose Crystal City Metro.

I think, for now, that's the best available choice. Gateway is ludicrous and is totally useless.

by LuvDusty on Nov 8, 2011 1:22 pm • linkreport

I went with the street intersection name for each one.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 9, 2011 1:59 pm • linkreport

I also elected to go with intersections. It just makes the most sense. I think you could probably just go with cross streets alone for most, but intersections are surely the most useful for now.

by Eric H. on Nov 9, 2011 3:37 pm • linkreport

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