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Next stop, Georgia Ave-Petworth-Park View?

While having a Metro station at the intersection of Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues is a boon to the area, one of the unfortunate oversights of the station is that its name honors Petworth while ignoring the neighborhood of Park View.


Should Park View be part of this station's name?

Technically, the station is in Ward 4's Petworth, though barely. South of Rock Creek Church Road and east of Georgia Avenue is not Petworth but the Ward 1 neighborhood of Park View.

Naming the station Petworth in the name gives the false impression that the station is located in the heart of that neighborhood. Nothing could be further from the truth as Park View's border is mere feet from the station, and Petworth's real heart is well to the north.

WMATA could add Park View to the station name, making it Georgia Ave-Petworth-Park View. Or, it could just be Petworth-Park View, though deleting a name from a station is far more problematic than adding one.


The 750 foot long Duke Ellington Bridge separates Adams Morgan from the station that bears its name. Image from Library of Congress.
Is there a precedent for renaming a station to be more inclusive of the communities around it? Yes. In 1999 the Woodley Park—Zoo station was renamed to Woodley Park—Zoo/Adams Morgan to help identify that the station also serves Adams Morgan.

However, whereas Adams Morgan's western border is 0.3 miles away from the stationand this is over the 750-foot-long Duke Ellington BridgePark View is only about 247 feet south of the station that ignores its existence.

Answering an inquiry on why this intersection was chosen for a station in the first place, Metro cites the location's long association with mass transit among the reasons that lead to its selection. If this is the case, Park View certainly played its part in helping to permanently establish Rock Creek Church Road, Georgia, and New Hampshire Avenues as a permanent stop for streetcars, then buses, and now Metro.

While there are numerous examples of the Park View Citizens' Association fighting for better streetcar service along Georgia Avenue, their most relevant accomplishment to this discussion occurred in 1914. It was in that year that the Citizens' Association took on the Utilities Commission to insist on a stop at Rock Creek Church Road for southbound trains. Prior to their plea to the Commissioners, streetcars only stopped at this location during their northbound journey.

Initially, the Commission rejected Park View's request. Not taking no for an answer, residents pressed their case and ultimately won in September of that year, causing the Commission to authorized the Washington Railway and Electric Company to establish a far-side stop at Georgia and Rock Creek Church Rd. That was the beginning of the intersection becoming the significant transportation hub that it is today.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He lives in the Park View neighborhood, and is the force behind the blog Washington Kaleidoscope

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But no one actually knows where Park View is. It'd be meaningless to the vast majority of people that use the system. I live in Pleasant Plains, and I had to google the Park View boundaries.

by jcm on Apr 29, 2010 1:24 pm • linkreport

Two questions here:

1. Is this station (or others) named appropriately?

2. Should we be adding on more stuff to station names?

And if I may answer:

1. Maybe, maybe not. Depends.

2. NO.

One of Metro's guiding principles was to make the system easy to use and navigate. This is part of the basic design (you can get to any station from another with only one transfer) and part navigation - each station has a unique name, usually named after a neighborhood or landmark. This avoids the situation in New York, Chicago, and other places where you'll have multiple stations with the same name (since they are usually named for the cross streets, and they share the same street). The other key was keeping the names short and unique, thus easily remembered.

It's too bad that this usability has been ruined by parochial and political interests. U St was once the shortest names in the system (three characters!) and is now one of the longest. This degrades the overall system.

So, are all the stations named completely accurately? No, they're not. But appending more words to already lengthy and cumbersome names is not the answer.

by Alex B. on Apr 29, 2010 1:30 pm • linkreport

I sympathize with the plight of the neighborhood, but too many stations already suffer from "name sprawl." Among those is Woodley Park/Zoo-Adams Morgan.

Originally station names were kept to 15 characters, generally. That's a good rule.

Ever heard a Metro announcement about single-tracking between Dunn Loring-Merrifield and Vienna/Fairfax-George Mason University? I mean, how many stations is that?

Metro does not need to list every single destination remotely accessible from a station (the Zoo, for instance, is closer to Cleveland Park than Woodley Park, and decently close to Columbia Heights).

"Georgia Avenue" is already a troubling part of the name. While this is the only place the Green Line crosses Georgia Avenue, the Red Line crosses it near Silver Spring and runs under it for several miles, including the Georgia Avenue/Forest Glen/Montgomery Hills, Georgia Avenue/Wheaton/East Kensington, and Georgia Avenue/Glenmont/Layhill stations.

I would prefer it if Metro went back to the shorter names. If additional destinations need to be listed, they can be announced or written in smaller text below the station name on the placard.

Atlanta's MARTA, for instance, has automated announcements like this one for "North Avenue"
The next station is North Avenue. North Avenue Station. Exit here for Bank of America, AT&T, the Fox Theatre, Georgia Tech, Grant Field, and connecting bus service to Coca-Cola Headquarters and the Fernbank Museum.The issue with giving stations long names is that when they're referred to in shorthand, confusion can occur.

For instance, I always call the station between Shaw and Gallery Place "Mount Vernon Square." Some people (including signs on the Green/Yellow Platform at Gallery Place) call it simply "Convention Center." Now, if you're not from around here, how do you know they're not different stations?

We should avoid turning the station naming system into something as complicated as the fare chart.

Otherwise, we're going to end up with "Gallery Place-7th Street/Chinatown-Verizon Center, American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery-Spy Museum-Library."

by Matt Johnson on Apr 29, 2010 1:35 pm • linkreport

It's worth noting that Woodley Park-Zoo has the 'Zoo' on there because apparently the Zoo was planning on building a new entrance closer to that Metro station when the name was put in place, but that plan never came to fruition...

by Alex B. on Apr 29, 2010 1:38 pm • linkreport

@Alex B.
Also, the Petworth part of this particular station name was attached when the Green Line was supposed to run under Kansas Avenue. In that case, the station would have been at the intersection of Kansas and Georgia. Right in Petworth's big commercial node.

by Matt Johnson on Apr 29, 2010 1:42 pm • linkreport

I generally agree with the previous comments. I wouldn't want to take the Metro to Ballston/Marymount University/Ballston Common Mall/National Science Foundation/Fish and Wildlife Service/Washington-Lee High School/Glebe Road/Wilson Boulevard/Fairfax Drive/I-66/Northrop Grumman/DARPA Station.

by Tim on Apr 29, 2010 1:44 pm • linkreport

We need to simplfy the Metro station names, not expand them further. Looping in every possible closeby attraction or location is just ridiculous. There's no need to list off everything that's anywhere near the station entrance on the name of the station; tourists and residents aren't so dense that they can't figure out that the Navy Memorial is at the Archives stop without having it spelled out on the station name. It wastes time to have the operators announce ever more cumbersome names, and it wastes money having to put up new pylons, print new maps, etc., every time some local (or not so local) group decides that people are too dumb to figure out that something they care about is near a Metro stop. No more hyphenated names!

(PS: Loved the captcha for this one: "controversy refocus")

by Moose on Apr 29, 2010 1:47 pm • linkreport

It's a really slippery slope. U Street-Cardozo-African American Civil War Memorial. Mount Vernon Sq.-7th St.-Convention Center. What happens when Parkview gets its name on there and then some interest group with a mural wants its name up too? Do we add something to Columbia heights when that star on 16th street decides it wants to call itself something?

I say less. Petworth is far more recognizable. Lose Georgia Ave. Ditto with lots of other stations.

While we're at it, on universities and how they are named. If metro is going to keep all of the universities it serves on station names, they need to standardize a naming convention. Universities are currently labeled four or five different ways (e.g., U Va., CUA, Univ of MD, or not at all (GW)). Kind of stupid, imo

by JTS on Apr 29, 2010 1:51 pm • linkreport

Given the current state of WMATA's budget spending tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars to rename a station strikes me as moronic. Once the budget is balanced, the ongoing safety issues are addressed, all the 1000-series cars are retired and the purple and silver lines are complete and operational we can talk about station names but until then Metro needs to focus its' time and money on more important things.

by Jacob on Apr 29, 2010 1:52 pm • linkreport

some of the original plans for the system had another station closer to the heart of petworth. you can see those maps have "georgia ave." as one station and "petworth" as another. i always thought this name came about because of the merger of those two station names.

i agree with kent that attention should be paid to park view. the fact is that many, many people (especially people who are new to the area) incorrectly assume that corner is the heart of petworth (i know i did when i first moved to DC). it's not.

matt mentioned the trouble of putting a road name in a station's name. georgia avenue, from north of olney down to howard university, is many miles long. you could have dozens of stations with "georgia avenue" in the name if you built a line there. that should never have been permitted in the nomenclature of wmata stations.

since a lot of this discussion is pie-in-the-sky, i'd love to see "park view-petworth" as the station name here.

by IMGoph on Apr 29, 2010 1:53 pm • linkreport

Note the Woodley Park stations was referred to as "Zoological Park" in the planning stages.

There has actually been recent discussion of including the Zoo name in Cleveland Park!

by Andrew on Apr 29, 2010 1:55 pm • linkreport

Nooo... please god no more metro station names longer than 2 words.

by wd on Apr 29, 2010 1:56 pm • linkreport

Hmm. According to Wikipedia, I actually live in Park View, not Pleasant Plains. Did someone move the neighborhoods around without telling me?

by jcm on Apr 29, 2010 1:58 pm • linkreport

And if we are going to keep all these compound-complex names, we need to standardize a separating convention.

For instance, "Woodley Park/Zoo-Adams Morgan" and "Mount Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center".

Why slashes and dashes?

Is the Convention Center called the 7th Street Convention Center? Like to differentiate it from the 46th Street Convention Center? It certainly can't refer to the street where the Metro is located, because Shaw, Gallery Place, Archives, and L'Enfant Plaza are all located under 7th Street and they don't have that in their names.

And the other station must be at the intersection of Woodley Park Road and Zoo Street and is in a neighborhood called Adams Morgan. Or maybe Adams Morgan is a person, to whom there is a memorial. Or are Adams and Morgan different neighborhoods? No, no, no, I've got it. The Zoo is in Adams Morgan. That's why it has a dash instead of a slash. Right?

by Matt Johnson on Apr 29, 2010 2:02 pm • linkreport

Well, Adams Morgan can be a bit of a zoo sometimes...

by Alex B. on Apr 29, 2010 2:07 pm • linkreport

Is the author of this post a Park-View Resident by anychance? As JCM points out. To the vast majority of metro ridership the name Park-View means nothing as Park View isn't a destination to anyone that doesnt live there. This may change in the future. Adams Morgan for example wasn't added until well after it became a destination for nonresident ridership. But if you want to change the name to honor Park Veiw then what of other examples of this. Like Mount Pleasant/Columbia Heights. U street/ Logan

by anon on Apr 29, 2010 2:15 pm • linkreport

The naming thing is a bit excessive, but this might not be a bad idea.

I'm surprised we haven't seen a louder call for 14th Street to be wedged into the U Street name. I suppose it's impossible to remove things from a name, so you'd end up with U Street/Cardozo/14th Street/African American Civil War Memorial/Little Ethiopia/9:30 Club as the name.

Columbia Heights could easily be Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant (and it should!).

Federal Triangle is mostly a meaningless name anymore, we could throw in something about museums, too, given its proximity to the Natural History Museum.

Yeah, it goes on and on, I s'pose.

by Dave Stroup on Apr 29, 2010 2:18 pm • linkreport

@ anon 2:15, while I can concede that Park View isn't a destination to anyone that doesn't live there ... I would counter that the same can be said of Petworth and Georgia Avenue. As you said, maybe someday in the future.

by Kent on Apr 29, 2010 2:33 pm • linkreport

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

by MPC on Apr 29, 2010 2:34 pm • linkreport

@MPC
I totally agree. What an egregious name. Let's shorten it back to "National Airport".

by Matt Johnson on Apr 29, 2010 2:35 pm • linkreport

Oh lord. Georgia Avenue/Petworth is already long (I'm personally against anything with a slash in the first place). Do we really want another "U Street/Cardozo/African-American Civil War Memorial/Little Ethiopia/Club District/Howard University East" metro station?

I really don't understand the notion that neighborhoods "suffer" from the naming of a metro station.

Does anyone make a decision about where to visit, live or shop based on the name of a metro station? All the long names do is create confusion when you tell someone from out-of-town which station to go to. I always say "Petworth" and because it starts with "Georgia Avenue" they don't see it on the map.

Stop the madness. Please. Simple names. Every single station is "misnamed" in the same way this one is. Why not add "Columbia Heights" to the Petworth station? The NE corner of Columbia Heights is at Spring Road and New Hampshire Avenue, barely a block from the station. Boy would that be confusing though!

Why not add "Mt. Pleasant" and "Park View" and "16th Street Heights" to Columbia Heights?

Why not pick a series of random numbers to name each station?

Seriously. There are 100 things that mean something to someone within a mile of every metro station. Nobody benefits from long names, but it sure causes a lot of misunderstandings.

by Jamie on Apr 29, 2010 2:44 pm • linkreport

This posting seems to be an answer looking for a question.

But shouldn't we rename Waterfront/SEU since the "SEU" part of the name no longer exists?

by Fritz on Apr 29, 2010 2:51 pm • linkreport

Kent-Agreed but when the Petworth station does start seeing more non-resident usage it's likely to be patronizing the ground floor restaurants/retail in the condo building above the metro. Or the new restaurant/retail in the coming developments on the otherside of georgia. All of which ARE in Petworth. You could argue a decade from now gerogia ave will be more of a destination along the Park View corridor as well. But still Georgia Ave is in the name as it is, so even then would a change be needed? The Van Ness Metro station doesn't mention the Forrest Hills Neighborhood (and no reason to) I would argue that a potential Mount Pleasant/Columbia Heights name change is more glarring. Mount Plesant is a firmly established neighborhood with it's own commercial strip, bars/restaurants/and a library that non-residents do metro to. (ed note. I am a MTP resident...)

by anon on Apr 29, 2010 2:55 pm • linkreport

If Park View thinks that the biggest obstacle to reaching its golden age is having a name on a metro station....then Park View has bigger problems. I think midtown Manhattan does just fine without "41st St" station mentioning all the esoteric sites near it.

No station names should be changed unless it's to shorten them.

Either no street should be on a station name, or ALL station names should ONLY have the name of the street it's CROSSING (I.E. Western Ave at Friendship Heights, 22nd ST at Foggy Bottom, 7th St at Chinatown and M St. at Convention Center)

by D on Apr 29, 2010 2:58 pm • linkreport

You can argue all day about who uses what metro station to get where. But can anyone honestly say that a single soul on earth couldn't figure out how to get somewhere because of the name of a metro station? On the other hand, long names are absolutely responsible for confusion when telling people what stop to use.

Adding "Adams Morgan" to the Cleveland Park Metro didn't make it any closer to Adams Morgan. And anyway, Cleveland Park doesn't really exist. The neighborhood is called "Garfield."

by Jamie on Apr 29, 2010 3:04 pm • linkreport

poor Chester A. Arthur...

by D on Apr 29, 2010 3:07 pm • linkreport

@Jamie-

huh? I take it you meant to say Woodley Park. And that woodley park doesn't exist? I assure you it does. I grew up there. at the intersection of Woodley Rd and Woodley Place to be exact. I distributed the Woodley Park Acorn newsletter. you telling me my whole existance is a LIE!

by anona on Apr 29, 2010 3:11 pm • linkreport

Please, no more bloated station names! They should be shortened to one or two words to reflect what people will actually use and remember (although as someone said that can wait behind more serious problems). Maps would be a whole lot cleaner too. Special interest groups should not be allowed to tack anything onto station names, period. That only leads to politicians cutting off the money until Metro agrees to add the names of dead white men to every station.

And what is the deal with hyphens and slashes? I've never been able to figure out the difference. Are names joined by a hyphen, but separated by a slash? Did someone think that the names needed some excitement via variations in punctuation?

by Matthias on Apr 29, 2010 3:15 pm • linkreport

I always call it "Georgia Petworth". It's catchy, easy to remember, incorporates parts of both the street locator and the neighborhood locator, and it has the added benefit of sounding like a classy 1940's actress.

Metro station names don't need to be as long as they already are. Is it really so hard to say "I live in Parkview, get off at Georgia Petworth", or "Take Metro to U Street for the African American Civil War Memorial" or "There's a shuttle to UMD at the College Park station"?

by Alan on Apr 29, 2010 3:18 pm • linkreport

Sorry I did mean Woodley Park. That was a bit of a joke about neighborhood names, an oft-recurring debate. The only "official" source of neighborhood boundaries is the real property assessment database, in which there is no "Woodley Park," only "Garfield."

by Jamie on Apr 29, 2010 3:26 pm • linkreport

I prefer "GeoPet" because it could also be a futuristic robotic dog, or the successor to the Geo Metro.

by Jamie on Apr 29, 2010 3:28 pm • linkreport

I'm not in favor of renaming the Petworth station to include Parkview or the New York Avenue station to include Eckington.

Very major destinations like a ballpark or college warrant extra naming tacked on to the simple base. But adding additional neighborhoods just for the sake of doing so is pointless. We're moving faster and faster towards a society where everyone has a GPS in their hands (phone) and is understanding how to use it. Online maps are getting better and better all the time. If someone wants to get to Parkview or Eckington they can figure it out very easily.

by Paul on Apr 29, 2010 3:28 pm • linkreport

@Jamie- I just looked and "Woodley" is on the assessment database dropdown of neighborhood names. Oddly my childhood home is indeed marked as Garfeild though. Park Veiw and Pleasant Plains are not included on the drop down. And random names I've never heard of are. Like "DC Village". Where's that?

by anon on Apr 29, 2010 3:34 pm • linkreport

DC village is the old homeless shelter down by the blue plains sewage treatment plant.

please, whatever you do, do not rely on the tax assessment "neighborhood" names. they are rough inventions, made by the tax office years back just so they would have a unique identifier for each house. the office has admitted that they don't consider them to be true neighborhood names.

by IMGoph on Apr 29, 2010 3:38 pm • linkreport

The tax database is of course a useless source for neighborhood name/boundary information - my point is only that there's no consensus on what they are, and even which neighborhood names should be recognized. So given that some a lot of people (especially Realtors) who live in Park View, and 16th Street Heights, will swear up and down they live in Columbia Heights, it makes little sense to name metro stations based on one (or more) of the small neighborhoods they serve.

by Jamie on Apr 29, 2010 3:47 pm • linkreport

Stop the madness! No more long names! At some point an independent commission - like the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission - should just come up with a good standard for SHORT usable names, that benefit all users and not just feed the wounded egos of people who live near stations and the schools that think they are important. 15 characters max sounds good to me. (I'm looking at you, U Street!)

And while we're at, we need a better way to help folks figure out which side of the platform to go on, other than the obscure names of the terminus stations.

by M.V. Jantzen on Apr 29, 2010 4:06 pm • linkreport

We've already discussed this. About a year ago:
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=1783

by Jasper on Apr 29, 2010 4:37 pm • linkreport

the Names need to have a specific format we have neighborhoods named, streets named, buildings named.

It should be like this

1 Neighborhood

2 Street, only if there is no neighborhood name can not be a main street like Georgia Ave, Penn Ave, Benning RD, Minnesota Ave. Use a street that is nearby and does not go one for miles.

3 No Universities unless the station is directly at the main portion of the university, which means

Howard gets cut from Shaw, American gets cut from Tenleytown, University of MD cut from College Park.

The only universities that should have there names on stations are George Washington & UDC because they are right at the stations and there is no way you can miss them.

4 If using a city/town for name use the city/town the station is actually in. looking at you New Carrolton.

We should not be treating people like there incapable of learning how to get around without everything being
spoon-fed to them.

If there two dumb to put two and two together to figure out where they need to go maybe they should not use the system.

by kk on Apr 29, 2010 7:26 pm • linkreport

@Jasper, true, but the map doesn't reflect the discussion that took place.

Myself, I'm perfectly fine with the suburban stations that serve two towns being a hyphenation of those names. Dunn Loring-Merrifield and Vienna-Fairfax (without all the universities) are fine.

As for Alexandria, if you change Braddock Road to Parker Gray, I suspect it would wind up being argued to "Parker Gray-Del Ray".

by Craig on Apr 29, 2010 8:36 pm • linkreport

@ Craig: I was just pointing out that we've agreed a long time ago that the station names can be a lot shorter. And in the discussion below the cited topic you can see that it's not that easy to actually cut the station names because people have quite different perspectives on where a station is.

Take Franconia-Sprinfield. It clearly is in Franconia, and not in Springfield. Yet, quite some people don't realize that Franconia is not Springfield and therefore prefer the name Springfield.

My personal view is that the shorter the better, but care should be taken with naming stations after street names. The name U St does not help with locating the U St station on the map because U St is rather long. Braddock Road now has that problem. Braddock is a very long road with an exit on the SW corner of the Beltway, yet the metro station is in Alexandria.

Non-trivial stuff.

by Jasper on Apr 29, 2010 9:50 pm • linkreport

Braddock Rd in Alexandria City is non-contiguous with Braddock Rd in Fairfax County, which is non-contiguous with Braddock Rd in Loudoun County. It was once one very long road, today it's a road, a long road, and a medium road. Few in NoVA would confuse them, though i do see the point of changing that station name to avoid possible confusion for out-of towners, who are frequent users of Metro into Old Town.

I'm all in favor of shortening the station names - they've become unwieldy to the point of uselessness, as with U St among others.

by dcseain on Apr 29, 2010 11:46 pm • linkreport

I like shorter names, blah blah, but my vested interest here is that I actually live in the aforementioned "condo building above the metro" (which is actually rental apartments thanks to the economy). And I was curious what neighborhood it's in so I wasted an unhealthy amount of time tracking down an answer.

In short: DC's Citizen Atlas says the building is in the Columbia Heights tax assessment neighborhood and the Petworth city neighborhood, neither of which aligns with the historic boundaries of those neighborhoods (the Holmead estate was bounded on the north by Spring Rd; Petworth was bounded on the west by Georgia Ave). Squint at this map and you won't even see the particular block colored in as being part of any notable estate or neighborhood.

The exits of the Metro station are thus located (1) in the extreme southwest corner of Petworth, and (2) in a no-man's-neighborhood just north of Park View, just northeast of the tip of Columbia Heights, and south of something once called "North Columbia Heights" despite that tract's position outside the Holmead estate that gave names to Pleasant Plains, Park View, Mount Pleasant, and Columbia Heights.

Since "Borderstan" is already taken maybe we should give it an entirely new name, like "Here Be Dragons." But it's also not as if "Georgia Ave" is in fact too vague, as this is the only place the Green line crosses it. Residents of and visitors to New York City manage to survive the multiple 23 St, 34 St, and 50 St stations just fine. (42 St stations all seem to have other names, though). By NYC Subway standards the most meaningless station name in DC would have to be the 7th St station, since it names the street the line follows, not the one it's crossing. But I digress.

by fedward on Apr 30, 2010 2:12 am • linkreport

@ fedward: But the name of a station should indicate where the station is. Not where the line is going, where it's from, or what road it's following.

The only reason why people in NY can live with multiple stations with similar names is that the lines (in Manhattan) follow the avenues. Manhattan's grid is a lot easier to navigate than DC's. I am not sure what naming issues NY has when you get off of Manhattan.

Speaking of maps. Can one of our cartographers make a map of all the neighborhoods in Greater Washington? I've learned a lot by hanging around here. But there are plenty of places that make me scratch my head. Even ones that I get through on a daily basis. Making a map like that would probably lead to a post full of flame wars about which block belongs to what neighborhood, but in the end might yield an official GGW neighborhood map that we can all use for reference. Perhaps is should not have hard lines but shades colors so avoid that.

by Jasper on Apr 30, 2010 7:07 am • linkreport

Yes, but if you were to give the station a single name of minimal length accurately describing its location, "Petworth" is misleading and "Park View" is inaccurate. "Georgia Ave" may lack specificity but it also doesn't imply a neighborhood to which the station has only a tenuous claim (except to the degree that the station name has already stretched the boundaries of "Petworth" across Georgia Ave).

All possible short names for the station are thus misleading or vague. The station sits at the intersection of Georgia Ave (which the line crosses), New Hampshire Ave (which it follows), and Rock Creek Church Road. The last is in practice the divider between "lower" and "upper" Georgia Ave too, so you can't really use either descriptor with any more accuracy than you'd have with "Petworth" or "Park View." And if you're going to call it "Mid Georgia Ave" you might as well just get rid of the Mid part since it adds no value.

by fedward on Apr 30, 2010 7:51 am • linkreport

@fedward,

IMGoph mentioned this above, but the tax assessment neighborhood names are completely inaccurate - the DC tax folks know this and admit this. The idea was to divide the city up so they could have some unique identifiers:

please, whatever you do, do not rely on the tax assessment "neighborhood" names. they are rough inventions, made by the tax office years back just so they would have a unique identifier for each house. the office has admitted that they don't consider them to be true neighborhood names.

Just as an FYI.

by Alex B. on Apr 30, 2010 7:57 am • linkreport

I think the observation about NYC subway stations following an avenue isn't a good argument against using street names here. Other subways stations around the country and the world also use street names in the same circumstances as ourselves.

Boston has a "Massachusetts Ave" stop. That is one long road in Boston as it is in DC.

Boston, actually, is an example of how it should be here. Some stations are named for a museum, some are named for a medical center, some are named for a neighborhood, some for a geographical landmark (like a square).

But each station is named for but ONE thing in Boston, which makes the whole system much easier to comprehend.

A station name is merely an address. It doesn't NEED to impart, specifically, everything or anything it serves. What it does need to be is easily remembered, distinguishable from other station names, and easily spoken when giving directions. Long names do not accomplish this.

by Jamie on Apr 30, 2010 8:26 am • linkreport

@Jaime,

Metro was initially designed with that same intention. Politics and parochialism is what changed all these station names.

by Alex B. on Apr 30, 2010 8:54 am • linkreport

So when are you going to write a post about the need to change the name of the "New York Avenue" Metro Station as (1) the station isn't on New York Ave. but about 2 blocks away and (2) is 6 blocks from the entrance to Gallaudet University, although only 4 blocks to the gate perimeter on 6th St.

In any case, it is interesting how transportation capabilities and capacity changes how neighborhoods are defined. E.g., "Capitol Hill" now goes out past Lincoln Park, whereas they were all different, distinct neighborhoods. But with automobility, people
s neighborhoods were no longer defined by walking distances and the pedestrian shed, but by the longer distances more easily traveled by automobile.

by Richard Layman on Apr 30, 2010 10:32 am • linkreport

I think the name of the station should be: Georgia Ave-Petworth-Park View/16th St/Cedar View Court/Luzerne Ave/Columbia Blvd/Corwin Dr/Seminary Road/Dale Dr/Sutton Pl/Woodland Dr/Grace Church Rd/Stratton Rd/Rookwood Rd/Glen Ross Rd/Hanover St/1st Ave/Riley Pl

by Roger on Apr 30, 2010 11:48 am • linkreport

Why not just Georgia Ave.?

by Paul on Apr 30, 2010 1:39 pm • linkreport

The station before is Columbia Heights. This station is just after you leave Columbia Heights and enter Petworth. It doesn't have to be in the historical heart of Petworth to make it an accurate name. and really, it is only 3-4 blocks south of the heart of the neighborhood. Regardless, neither exit is in Park View. And Georgia Ave is dumb because georgia ave runs from florida ave deep into maryland.

Yes, the historical boundary of the neighborhood is Georgia Ave, but I will go further to say that both sides of Georgia Ave are still Petworth. Case in point- the Petworth Library is on the west side of Georgia. The intersection of Kansas, Georgia, and Upshur is basically the commercial center of the Petworth Neighborhood.

And besides, noone except those of us who live nearby know what the fuck "parkview" is, anyway.

by RAD on Apr 30, 2010 2:45 pm • linkreport

For those who are so hostile towards Park View, feel free to NOT SHOP at the Park View CVS when it opens.

by parkviewres on Apr 30, 2010 2:59 pm • linkreport

And for those of you Park View residents so hostile towards Petworth, feel free to NOT USE THE PETWORTH METRO!

Wait, what? Is Park View getting ready to secede from DC or something? People's Republic of Parkview?

Anyway you've got it all wrong, your neighborhood is really called Bellevue. See this map, the only official register of neighborhood boundaries that I've seen before. Park View, unfortunately, did not exist under that name in 1902, and therefore I refuse to recognize it.

Signing off from Holmead Manor (a subdivision of Pleasant Plains, LamarÂ’s Outlet, and Slippery Hill),

Jamie

by Jamie on Apr 30, 2010 3:22 pm • linkreport

That map is hardly an official register of neighborhood names. It records how areas were referred to and if one reads the description of the source it also lists subdivision names (which are not neighborhood names). It also strongly implies laid out neighborhoods actually had houses and populations. In the case of Petworth, it was laid out much earlier than it was developed. As to the metro, I'm happy to use the 16th Street Heights entrance if that makes you happy.

by parkviewres on Apr 30, 2010 4:08 pm • linkreport

I don't think anyone is hostile towards Park View.

Many, however, are quite hostile to adding more stuff onto Metro station names that are already too long.

by Alex B. on Apr 30, 2010 4:21 pm • linkreport

No No No No No!!! Please do not make the station names any longer!!! They need to be shortened, not lengthened.

Clearly this station should be "Georgia Avenue" since it is under debate what neighborhood it covers.

by Geori on May 3, 2010 8:51 am • linkreport

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