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Fairfax Silver Line names are boring and repetitive

Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors has proposed station names for the Silver Line. But the names are really dull, so they won't help define neighborhoods, and so repetitive they won't help riders find their stop.


Photo by fairfaxcounty on Flickr.

The Silver Line will bring 9 8 new Metro stations to Fairfax County. With 5 of those scheduled to open in 2013 and Metro working to create a new map, Fairfax needed to suggest some station names to WMATA.

Unfortunately, their suggestions are mostly bland and unimaginative, and are unlikely to be lend their names to the neighborhoods the line will help to transform. While the WMATA Board has yet to approve these names, they rarely overrule station naming suggestions from one of their jurisdictions.

Working nameFairfax proposal
Tysons EastTysons-McLean
Tysons Central 123Tysons I&II
Tysons Central 7Tysons Central
Tysons WestTysons-Spring Hill Road
Wiehle AvenueReston-Wiehle Avenue
Reston ParkwayReston Town Center
Herndon-MonroeHerndon-Reston West
Route 28Herndon-Dulles East

The original working names were just placeholders while the line was being designed. They were never intended to become permanent. But Fairfax's proposal is arguably worse than the placeholders. 8 stations all start with the same 3 words, and there's little suggesting any kind of sense of place for these areas.

If we'd used Fairfax's logic in the past, we'd have ended up with something like this:


Click to enlarge.

It's understandable that Fairfax wants to keep neighborhoods in station names. But places like Tysons and Reston are larger than neighborhoodsthey're more like districts. Tysons itself is larger geographically than downtown DC. Breaking up the Tysons "brand" would help the transforming neighborhoods in Virginia's largest employment center to define themselves.

And Metro has a history of creating names where they didn't exist before or at least raising the name-recognition of pre-existing neighborhoods. If Fairfax was truly forward thinking on Tysons, they'd use the Silver Line station names to define unique neighborhoods.

Of course, Metro must also consider wayfinding in the system. That's seemingly not a big concern for Fairfax. There's very little repetition in current station naming. Farragut North and Farragut West, originally intended to be one station, both refer to a small square in downtown Washington and are on separate lines. In Arlington, Pentagon and Pentagon City are adjacent stops on the Blue and Yellow Lines.

But Fairfax's proposal would mean that 4 consecutive stops would start with "Tysons" and the next 3 would include "Reston". "Herndon" and "Dulles" would each find their way into 2 station names.

The repetitive station names will not only be confusing. They'll also be misleading. Tysons-McLean is not really in McLean. It just happens to be the closest station to McLean. And the name-chaining makes it sound like most of these stations are in between places, rather than the center of anything.

That's not helpful for the developers and planners hoping to build communities around these new stops. Is Herndon-Reston West in Herndon or Reston? Surely there's a neighborhood name that could be appropriated. Even something like "Monroe Street" would be superior.

Also troubling is the inclusion of Roman numerals in one station name. That does not bode well for ease of understanding or readability. As it is, people get confused with "Gallery Pl" which looks like "Gallery PI" in Metro's sans-serif font.

Each Metro station name should be short and as unique as possible. While Fairfax's names aren't so bad on length, their similarity and lack of creativity are just as bad for riders.

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. Hes a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Planning Department. His views are his own and do not represent the opinion of his employer. 
David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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So funny (and irritating), reminds me of this classic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0

by Campy on Mar 29, 2011 3:37 pm • linkreport

Wow, these names are absolutely awful. No redeeming qualities whatsoever.

by Ryan S on Mar 29, 2011 3:40 pm • linkreport

Also sad and, to me, an indicator of the mindset of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors is that several of the station names revolve not around places but roads.

Not that they're the first to do this - New York Avenue, Braddock Road, Eisenhower Ave...

I guess change comes slowly.

by EZ on Mar 29, 2011 3:43 pm • linkreport

Agreed. Snoozer. That map is hilarious, though

by JessMan on Mar 29, 2011 3:48 pm • linkreport

That map is really cracking me up.

By the way, "Tysons I&II" is meant to denote Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria. Tysons Galleria was for a few years known as Galleria at Tysons II, shortened to Tysons II. So Tysons Corner Center became Tysons I.

Of course, Tysons II is a pretty antiquated name and Tysons I was never official. So using them in this way is quite stupid.

by Tim on Mar 29, 2011 3:48 pm • linkreport

KISS: Neighborhood names where it's relevant, street names where it's not.

McLean (it's close enough)
Tysons Corner (for better or worse, the station nearest the mall is the real 'Tysons Corner' station.)
Westpark Drive
Spring Hill Road
Wiehle Avenue
Reston Town Center
Herndon
Darrell Green Boulevard

by yatesc on Mar 29, 2011 3:52 pm • linkreport

It's funny - they start off with the idea of a prefix to identfiy the broad area of the station - e.g. Tysons-Station name. Except that several of the station names are also broad areas, not specific places (which is bad), but they're also places referenced elsewhere as station prefixes (which is worse).

WMATA should reject these on wayfinding confusion alone.

This pattern of hyphenated, generic, and non-specific station names isn't new from Fairfax County (Franconia-Springfield, Vienna-Fairfax, Dunn Loring-Merrifield) - hopefully because these are all being submitted at once and there's a legitimate need for decent, unique names to assist in wayfinding, WMATA will reject them and ask for alternatives.

by Alex B. on Mar 29, 2011 3:52 pm • linkreport

It seems like they're using East Falls Church and West Falls Church as an excuse to continue that naming convention.

Unfortunately, those two stations are also rather poorly named. EFC should have simply been "Falls Church," while WFC should have been Idylwood. WFC Station is barely inside what people would consider to be the logical limits of the city of Falls Church.

I also find it amusing that several of the names on Matt's map are actually better and more concise than their current ones. "MidCity-XII St" is 10x better than "U St-Cardozo-African American Civil Memorial."

Rarely are single street names good identifiers for station names, given that streets are (by definition) long and windy. Best to stick to the name of a single point. Alexandria's stations suffer from this problem, as Braddock Road and King St both cover a considerable distance.

U St is probably the only acceptable street-as-a-station name, although even that's confusing to tourists.

by andrew on Mar 29, 2011 3:52 pm • linkreport

What's with all the hyphens? Those names aren't even grammatically correct for the English language.

by John on Mar 29, 2011 3:53 pm • linkreport

My guess: they didn't want to offend. If you named the Reston stop after the neighborhood that surrounds it, you'd have others in Reston that live outside that neighborhood complaining that they're not represented on the Metro. Plus, for those selling homes in Reston, you'd have the opportunity to advertise that you have two Metro stops.

by Max on Mar 29, 2011 3:53 pm • linkreport

IMO - these names are fine for the time being - who says they can't be changed down the road when the areas surrounding them begin to grow and change, especially in the Tysons area. Haven't many of the Metro's station names changed periodically over the years to "better" (and I use that term loosely) describe the surrounding areas? Who's to say that the same won't happen to the Tysons stations years down the road?

As for the stations outside of Tysons, I agree, they could be a lot better, and more descriptive of where they're going to be located.

by JCU on Mar 29, 2011 3:54 pm • linkreport

That map is the best snark I have seen in a long time.

by Andrew on Mar 29, 2011 3:55 pm • linkreport

Alex -

Thing is, nobody calls them Vienna/Fairfax–GMU, Dunn Loring-Merrifield, let alone West Falls Church – VT/UVA. It's Vienna, Dunn Loring, and West Falls [Church]. Let's change the names to reflect actual usage, not some bizarre insistence on inclusion.

(Max: You're right: this smacks of 'not wanting to offend'.)

by yatesc on Mar 29, 2011 3:57 pm • linkreport

I like the names yatesc came up with. I would just take the road, drive, etc out of the name
Westpark Drive ---> Westpark
Spring Hill Road ---> Spring Hill
It is shorter and cleaner.

Eventually, that metro and neighborhood will be called that anyway.

by MW on Mar 29, 2011 4:00 pm • linkreport

Honestly, I don't know why this has to be so hard.

How about (from east to west):
McLean
Tysons Boulevard
Tysons Central
Spring Hill Road

Don't like those? How about:
Scott Run
Galleria Center
Westpark
Spring Hill

Still no good? How about:
Dolly Madison
Tysons Market
Solutions Drive
Raglan Park

How about another set of options:
Pimmit Hills
International Drive
Gosnell
Ash Grove

I'd take any combination of any of those names over what Fairfax proposed.

by BeyondDC on Mar 29, 2011 4:01 pm • linkreport

@MW, yes Eventually, that metro and neighborhood will be called that anyway. See "Van Ness".

by Tina on Mar 29, 2011 4:01 pm • linkreport

Perhaps the names illustrate the bland character of the areas that they serve. How would we differentiate parts of Tysons? Next stop, Obscenely Large Mall?

by Lewis on Mar 29, 2011 4:01 pm • linkreport

Having grown up in Reston and Herndon, I can honestly say that I can't think of a true "neighborhood" that they could name those stops after. Unlike DC, where neighborhoods often have a sense of identity, Reston and Herndon are fairly amorphous. "Reston Town Center" makes sense, because it is a defined location with its own identity, but the other Reston-Herndon stations don't really have clear landmarks or neighborhoods associated with them.

Perhaps they could use the Silver Line as an opportunity to redevelop those areas and give them a better sense of place. I just moved to Arlington, and I would love to see my old neighborhood in Herndon become as easily identifiable, and as vibrant, as Ballston or Clarendon. These names do nothing to encourage such change, though.

by Anne on Mar 29, 2011 4:06 pm • linkreport

Overall I like them. Simple and to-the-point, like station names should be. The only potentially confusing element I see is calling Herndon-Monroe "Reston West," but it is geographically accurate. I agree with Anne about neighborhoods. These are the suburbs. Let's try harder on planning before jumping to an imaginary station name as a quick fix.

by Omar on Mar 29, 2011 4:10 pm • linkreport

A note on the use of Tysons I and II .... Helvetica (the font that Metro uses on maps and throughout the system) is one of the most -- if not the most -- widely used and well-recognized fonts in the history of typography. That would just make no sense in context. People know that "Pl" is short for "Place" and not "PI" (private investigator?).

As a comparison, Paris' Metro map also uses Helvetica and it has a station named "George V". Clearly, in context, people know the station is George "the Fifth" and not George "Vee".

Worst case scenario, they can just use numbers, i.e. "Tysons 1 and 2". Or they can just rename the station to something less silly altogether.

by Scoot on Mar 29, 2011 4:12 pm • linkreport

Correction, the Paris Metro map does not use Helvetica but does use a similar sans serif font. In any event, the use of roman numerals is not preferred but it confuses almost no one.

by Scoot on Mar 29, 2011 4:14 pm • linkreport

Didn't we already have a whole post on the proposed names?

by Jasper on Mar 29, 2011 4:15 pm • linkreport

Goodness. Pity we can't have sensible, consistent naming.

Here's a question: I remember that in some of the old metro planning documents, White Flint station was named after a cross street, Nicholson Lane. How did that change?

"White Flint" of course is now a brand Montgomery County is ostensibly trying to cultivate as a center for development.

by EJ on Mar 29, 2011 4:16 pm • linkreport

Four station names in a row that are Tysons ___?! What are they thinking? That's going to make it so easy to figure out what stop is being announced as the current stop, right?

They might as well name the stations Silver Line 1 through 8.

by MLD on Mar 29, 2011 4:18 pm • linkreport

@EJ

That would likely be the White Flint Mall:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Flint_Mall

Metro ran into this problem when they also named Prince George's Plaza after the nearby mall as well. After they renovated the mall, they changed the name to The Mall at Prince George's, but WMATA wouldn't change the station name without the developer paying up.

by Alex B. on Mar 29, 2011 4:21 pm • linkreport

As is oft the case, follow the money. Who volunteered to tax themselves to pay for this project? Major landowners in the corridor. In the office, retail, and residential real estate arena what locational "brands" are most value in the area? McLean, Reston, Herndon, Dulles. Therefore, no self-respecting developer who chose to up their taxes is going to give up a valuable brand for the station adjacent to their project. Therefore, we end up with very bland station names given to aid in the marketing of real estate projects. Simple but sad.

by G-Man on Mar 29, 2011 4:21 pm • linkreport

Sent to my Supervisor:

Dear Mr Highland,

Fairfax has proposed names for the new stations on the Silver Line. I could write some comments on the proposed names, but GGW has done a much better job than I ever could. Their map of the entire system following the proposed naming is worth looking at.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9862/fairfax-silver-line-names-are-boring-and-repetitive/

If the Board needs suggestions for better names, I'd like to point to the comments under this post:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/7742/proposed-tysons-metro-station-names-are-still-a-little-dull/

Including my suggestion for the four Tysons stops from east to west:
Spring Hill
Tysons Corner
Tysons Malls
Scott Run

Thank you for your attention.

Jasper

by Jasper on Mar 29, 2011 4:24 pm • linkreport

Jesus Christ it's station names. Get over it. It's not gonna make a damn difference on ridership, either up or down.

I don't see where "branding" become an issue anyway. Anyone going out Tysons already knows what Tysons is. And thankfully they have these things called "maps" which allow you to orient yourself relative to a point on the ground.

by MPC on Mar 29, 2011 4:26 pm • linkreport

I dunno .... I work out in the area, and that's how I think of the areas where the stations are being built. I'd guess that's how the people out here think of those areas. The problem here is that you're trying to apply urban constructs to a suburban area. (And I mean David and Matt by 'you're'.) You're looking at this from the eyes of a pedestrian who would get off the train and walk to wherever they need to go, and that's not the case now ... nor will it be the case for many decades. Yes, some of these stations may foster neighborhoods ... as has happened in Ballston, etc., and some may not. In any case, the names can always be changed if/when that occurs. Currently these stations will be used as places where you leave your car while you are traveling to downtown or the airport or whereever, and knowing where you left your car is more important than giving a pretend neighborhood name for a 'someday to happen' pretend neighborhood.

by Lance on Mar 29, 2011 4:33 pm • linkreport

Agree that these are awful names. The Reston Town Center is the only one that is useful. What is with the "Herndon-Reston West"? The station is not in Reston, it will be in Herndon. Call it Herndon or Herndon-Monroe if we have to have hyphenated names.

For the Tysons stations, maybe it is time to create local neighborhood names for the new high density development plans in Tysons. Names that people can remember and use.

by AlanF on Mar 29, 2011 4:40 pm • linkreport

@MLD 1-8 would be easy to use.

by Tina on Mar 29, 2011 4:49 pm • linkreport

Note that visitors will likely be confused by the fact that Dulles will eventually be mentioned in two station stops. How many will get off at Herndon-Dulles East instead of waiting for the actual airport stop?

The rest of the names, while not great, won't confuse tourists. And the locals can get used to the crappy names.

by George on Mar 29, 2011 5:23 pm • linkreport

"The repetitive station names will not only be confusing. They'll also be misleading. Tysons-McLean is not really in McLean. It just happens to be the closest station to McLean."

This is an incorrect statement. The former Tysons East station has a McLean address - 22102. It is also located within Fairfax County's McLean Planning District and within the boundary of the McLean Citizens Association. It's in McLean.

by tmtfairfax on Mar 29, 2011 5:32 pm • linkreport

@George, I agree about "Herndon-Dulles" for the Rt. 28 station. Dulles should be used for one station stop only and that is at Dulles Airport. We don't call Crystal City "Crystal City - near National Airport".

by AlanF on Mar 29, 2011 5:50 pm • linkreport

I propose a moratorium on new circulator routes. Any existing routes with more that 4 turns should be straightened

by beatbox on Mar 29, 2011 5:54 pm • linkreport

Anne and Lance get it right.
two gold stars!

by spookiness on Mar 29, 2011 6:04 pm • linkreport

@Lance

Even if you don't buy the need for unique station names for those neighborhoods, there is still a need to have unique station names for the sake of navigating within the Metro system.

by Alex B. on Mar 29, 2011 6:10 pm • linkreport

Agreed that the Board of Supervisors names are TERRIBLE and will confuse people at the very least.

Train/subwau station names are best kept VERY simple. That was the original intent when Metro was designed and we should stick that idea. It has been tested by time.

I admit I am not an expert on the intricacies of all of the immediate station neighborhoods but here are my suggestions, from East to West:

West McLean
Tysons Corner
Westpark
Spring Hill Road
Wiehle Avenue
Reston Town Center
Herndon
...
Dulles Airport

by NWDCGuy on Mar 29, 2011 6:44 pm • linkreport

Given the awful suburban wasteland that this line will go through, the names seem fitting....so, I guess I agree with Lance

by wr on Mar 29, 2011 7:38 pm • linkreport

If I were dictator of Metro, I'd punish Fairfax for their lack of creativity by saddling them with a bunch of silly, arbitrary, and hopefully memorable names that no government official would want to have to speak aloud during a public meeting. After less than one minute of thought, here's what I've come up with:

(East to West):
Pizzaland
Tysons Corner
Red Weasel
Ding Dong City
Zeppelin Rules
Reston
Robert DeNiro
Herndon

by burgersub on Mar 29, 2011 7:55 pm • linkreport

I used to live near the "Ballston" station. Then I lived near the atrociously named "Ballston-MU" station.

Metro will apparently change the name of a station for anyone willing to pony up the cost of changing the signs.

This gives rise to name creep (both meanings intended).

Why not just short-circuit the process and auction off the naming rights.

If no one bids, name one of the stops Ty$on$.

No station should have more than two words in its name.

by Art Cee on Mar 29, 2011 8:08 pm • linkreport

I can't get over how ugly, cluttered, and banal the stations themselves are!

by Neil Flanagan on Mar 29, 2011 8:20 pm • linkreport

A little bit like the suburbs they're named after. Works for me! I like NWDCGuy's proposal, though I wonder what to do about Dulles East. Under that naming convention, I like "Sully Road."

by Omar on Mar 29, 2011 8:26 pm • linkreport

I think the names are an accurate representation how interesting the locations are

by Eric K on Mar 29, 2011 9:32 pm • linkreport

@Andrew

East Falls Church is not in Falls Church. It is a neighborhood in Arlington. While West Falls Church is actually IN the city of Falls Church.

by TGEoA on Mar 29, 2011 10:14 pm • linkreport

@ JCU:

It'd be sort of okay to give the stations generic names and see what develops, but it costs a lot of money to rename one station, let alone several. Arlington County actually refused to pay the cost of renaming National Airport after Reagan, so the only reason the switch happened is that Congress forced WMATA to pay for the change itself.

by jakeod on Mar 29, 2011 11:07 pm • linkreport

East Falls Church is in the Arlington neighborhood of East Falls Church, so the name fits and makes sense.

by dcseain on Mar 29, 2011 11:21 pm • linkreport

@andrew

Minnesota Ave, Benning Rd also fit and maybe Potomac Ave.

I say the naming of stations should go with
#1 neighbourhood name if there is no neighbourhood name than
#2 local street name (no streets that travel across a city or one that is a main road)
#3 first letter of each nearby streets

by kk on Mar 30, 2011 12:17 am • linkreport

Argh. This post has appeared a good dozen times in my RSS reader, sporadically since yesterday. Why are GGW's feeds always screwy?

by Matt on Mar 30, 2011 7:26 am • linkreport

They are just so bad I can't think of anything to say. Please tell me there is some chance the WMATA Board will ask the Fairfax Board to go back to the drawing board. Tysons I&II for the malls and Tysons Central are the ones that really get me, along with Herndon - Reston West.

When I was a kid, after Tysons II was built, we started calling Tysons Corner Center Tysons I. These days I don't really hear people use the numbers as much anymore, especially Tysons I. This is clearly going to eventually be the central station in Tysons Corner, but that name will now be taken by the stop directly next to the SAIC headquarters complex...Exciting

by xtr657 on Mar 30, 2011 8:05 am • linkreport

Wow, MPC! Chill out. Why so bitter?

Really, does that comment add anything to this discussion?

by Tommy B. on Mar 30, 2011 8:07 am • linkreport

I have played with a number of different names for the stations over the years. here are my recommended names.
Tysons East Tysons-McLean
Tysons Central 123 Tysons Centers
Tysons Central 7 Pike Seven Plaza
Tysons West Spring Hill Road
Wiehle Avenue Wiehle Avenue
Reston Parkway Reston Parkway
Herndon-Monroe Herndon-Monroe
Route 28 Dulles East

I chose Tysons-McLean because that station in not very close the McLean proper, Tysons Centers because it is between the mall and the galleria, Pike Seven Plaza because that is the name of the shopping center that dominates that area, Spring Hill Road closet cross street, Wiehle Avenue closet cross street, stuck with Herndon-Monroe because that is what the park and ride facility called, Dulles East because it is not close to either Centerville or Sulley Roads.

For the station in Loudoun County

Dulles Airport Dulles Airport
VA-606 Morgan Road
VA-772 Ryan Road-Ashburn

Dulles Airport short and simple, Morgan Road station is accessed from that road, Ryan Road-Ashburn nearest road in Ashburn.

by Sand Box John on Mar 30, 2011 9:01 am • linkreport

My suggestions:

McLean
Tysons Corner
Pike Seven Plaza (I like that one!)
Spring Hill Road
Wiehle Ave
Reston Town Center
Herndon
Dulles Tech Center
Dulles International Airport (add a little airplane symbol, as well)

by Alex B. on Mar 30, 2011 9:12 am • linkreport

People are dreaming if they think we can start off with bad names and expect them to someday be changed to something better. When has that ever happened? I gaurantee that in 20 years, we'll be ble to ride the Silver Line out to Tysons-Springhill Rd-University of Phoenix-Robert E. Lee Memorial-Tysons North Mall-Brought-to-you-by Strayer University Station.

by TM on Mar 30, 2011 9:14 am • linkreport

Watch out, before you know it, Dulles will be renamed "Ronald Reagan Dulles International Airport" and you'll need to change the signs!

by Matt Glazewski on Mar 30, 2011 9:22 am • linkreport

Matt G: Don't you mean "George W. Bush Dulles International Airport"?

by David Alpert on Mar 30, 2011 9:24 am • linkreport

Oh, and here is something that most here don't realize that throughs a monkey wrench into the naming of the stations. Tysons Corner doesn't have its own postal zip code like Greenbelt, Rockville or Bethesda. Everything north of Leesburg Pike in Tysons Corner has a McLean zip code, everything south of Leesburg Pike has a the Vienna zip code.

by Sand Box John on Mar 30, 2011 9:34 am • linkreport

@David - I think we're both right:
"Ronald Reagan-George W. Bush Dulles International Airport"

by Matt Glazewski on Mar 30, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

I hope Fairfax is listening. The names they proposed are not good.

by Vik on Mar 30, 2011 9:43 am • linkreport

NWDCGuy has the right idea. i say go for his.

by jkc on Mar 30, 2011 10:15 am • linkreport

The Reston Town Center is the only one that is useful.

And the station isn't really at the town center is it? Isn't it slated to go over the Toll Road?

by Juanita de Talmas on Mar 30, 2011 12:59 pm • linkreport

I like Alex B's names. They are much better than those Fairfax came up with.

But at the end of the day, it's not a big deal. Who wants to bet the commentary would not have been nearly as snarky if we were talking about some public works project in a trashy section of Silver Spring, Wheaton or Anacostia?

by Bemused on Mar 30, 2011 1:33 pm • linkreport

I would disagree with those who say it doesn't matter. The process went off the rails right at the beginning. I suspect they were looking at maps or something.
The primary, number one, cornerstone objective has to be to consider the names from the riders' perspectives. Number 1. Primary. Most important.

I am sure there are experts on cognition and recognition who could have advised these bozos, but off the top of my head, the key aspects would be:
- Unique (so they are difficult or impossible to confuse with each other)
- Simple (so they are easy to convey)
- Memorable (so they are easy to recall)
- Representative (so they make sense with what's around them)

If they had started with these objectives in mind rather than--well, what were their objectives?--then they would have had a much more successful outcome.

by Steve O on Mar 30, 2011 3:52 pm • linkreport

The eight stations should honor the greatest president of the United States:

Reagan Station
Ronald Reagan Station
President Reagan Station
Ronald Wilson Reagan Station
Ronald W. Reagan Station
President Ronald Reagan Station
RW Reagan Station
Governor Reagan Station

by Newt Gingrich on Mar 30, 2011 3:56 pm • linkreport

Another vote for Alex B. Otherwise:
Welcome to the Sticks
Welcome to the Sticks II
Welcome to the Sticks III
Welcome to the Sticks IV
Welcome to the Sticks V
Welcome to the Sticks VI
Welcome to the Sticks VII
Thank God, the Airport

by Smoke_Jaguar4 on Mar 30, 2011 7:53 pm • linkreport

David, can we have some fun and so another naming post, with a good map?

by Jasper on Mar 30, 2011 8:49 pm • linkreport

I suspect that it may have something to do with the fact that Smoke's comment was funny and yours wasn't.

Then again, it may have something to do with the fact that you've got a piss poor attitude, are rude and abrasive, and Smoke is not.

by Ryan S on Mar 30, 2011 9:11 pm • linkreport

Jokes aren't required to be factually accurate, just funny. Some of the funniest jokes I've heard are factually impossible.

Just lighten up and relax, dude.

by Ryan S on Mar 30, 2011 9:22 pm • linkreport

In case it's not clear I've deleted two comments from MPC which were hateful and not relevant. And no, MPC, I don't want a continual argument from you about why constantly trying to make disparaging references about certain groups of people is "just stating facts."

by David Alpert on Mar 30, 2011 9:28 pm • linkreport

I've removed additional comments by MPC. MPC tries to make AIDS-related jokes at every opportunity on multiple comment threads. I don't want to get into a debate about whether or not he is meaning to be hateful. From the beginning of when he started posting on here he constantly posted nasty and demeaning things, disrupted conversations, and contributed nothing valuable to any discussions. I don't see any value in giving him additional warnings. I'm now banning him permanently and if he tries to circumvent blockages I will simply delete future comments from him.

by David Alpert on Mar 30, 2011 9:38 pm • linkreport

Also, this comment, which should have gotten deleted but which I didn't catch before several others responded to it and quoted it, illustrates what I am reacting to.

by David Alpert on Mar 30, 2011 9:49 pm • linkreport

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors should be required to do three things with proposed names:
1) Be able to understand clearly what stop they are at after the name is mangled through a typical metro car speaker with a typical metro driver
2) Be able to use them as search terms on Metro's trip planner (clearly that hasn't been coded, but seriously, it's so difficult to guess exactly what they'll code in for "Tysons I&II" for proper search term)
3) Be able to give directions to an easily confused tourist who happily jumps out at the first stop that says "Tysons" and has a hard time telling the difference between the FOUR similarly named stops.

Unique names are better for communication all around.

by DrMeglet on Mar 30, 2011 10:01 pm • linkreport

FYI, the official Metro station naming policy states:
The names selected should be distinctive and evoke imagery in the mind of the patron, i.e.
graphic, colorful or euphonious names are preferable to mechanical names such as street
number or letters.
I would say that these names fail to meet the policy on all levels. They're not distinctive, nor are they colorful. Hopefully the board won't simply rubber-stamp these politically driven names and adopt some useful ones.

by MDE on Mar 31, 2011 2:10 pm • linkreport

Don't hold your breath on having the names change at the WMATA level. Hunter Mill supervisor Cathy Hudgins is the chair of that board and she not only endorsed this list of names but pulled a fast one and tried to change the Herndon Monroe station to "reston west-herndon" at the board meeting. I think these are terrible too.

I like the street names for Tysons and the rest should be

Reston - Wiehle Avenue
Reston Town Center
Herndon
Innovation Avenue
Dulles International Airport

by jenna on Mar 31, 2011 4:37 pm • linkreport

The names won't change and it's not entirely the fault of the Board of Supervisors. The names were chosen with lots of public input and it's the communities surrounding those stations who all want to be associated with the priciest, most prestigious neighborhoods. This is just how naming places in the burbs unfortunately works and it's driven by real estate agents. So, Rockville becomes "North Bethesda", Gaithersburg is "North Potomac", and Aspen Hill and Burtonsville are somehow called "Silver Spring". You see it in DC with the ever-expanding notion of "Capitol Hill" which I believe now approximates the size of Deleware.

So, naturally everyone on the Silver Line wants their neighborhoods to be called Tysons or Reston because those are the best real estate brands.

by Falls Church on Apr 1, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

Actually, acording to the map above, Ballston would have been named Parkington, the name of the local mall with the large parking lot. (It was later rebuilt as Ballston Commons).

by JP on Apr 1, 2011 3:20 pm • linkreport

Having grown up in the suburbs (of a different city) myself, I would suggest none of you have the correct suburban nomenclatures down for these stops. May I submit:

Centrepointe Bluffs
Faireway Commons
Prince Fredderick Boulevard West
The Mews
Stately Pines
Ashecroft Pavilions at Marketplace South
Lady Jacqueline Lane
John Foster Dulles International Airport

Additionally, working off the fantastic map (awesome!), we could go the way of my hometown and genericize everything at existing stations (Stadium-Armory is already there!):

Foggy Bottom - University
Vienna/Fairfax - University
Airport
Train Station
Mall

by Was Buf., Now Was. on Apr 4, 2011 1:43 pm • linkreport

I could not agree more. The names of these stations are ridiculous. They are long, incredibly redundant, and focused on roads rather than geographic identity.

Do these spots not have geographic identity? Are you kidding me? Did the clock start on Virginia's history in 1960? There was a plantation where Spring Hill Road is now - the Ash Grove plantation, which is why Ash Grove shows up on this spot on Google maps. How about that? Also, apologies to whoever suggested Daryl Green Blvd for the Route 28 station, but they will likely rename that road again...and the name Sully Highway reflected the fact that it was the spot for another plantation - the Sully Plantation, portions of which are still open to tourists...so how about that?

I accept that the names are the result of a political battle by moneyed businessmen who want their offices and stores to be considered "in Tysons Corner"...and homeowners, who would rather be associated with Reston instead of Herndon, but give us a break. We are spending billions on this system. Can't we rise above it and give the stations meaningful if not beautiful names?

Of course we cannot. Sigh, but can't we do better than the proposed set? Here are my suggestions:

- Mclean
- Tyson's Corner
- Westpark
- Spring Hill
- Isaac Newton Square
- Reston Town Center
- Herndon
- Sully Plantation

Why? Well, in order:

Mclean - because it's darn close.

Tysons Corner - because this is where the two malls are...and what most folks consider to be the center of Tysons...or Tyson's...whatever.

Westpark - well, granted, this is a tough one...but give me props for not putting "Road" in the name.

Spring Hill - while I would prefer "Ash Grove", the name "Spring Hill" is meaningful to most folks in the corridor...and when you leave out "Road", it's not a bad name.

Isaac Newton Square - because it is there...and it is not insignificant. In fact, it's quite large. This is also the location of the monkey house featured so prominently in "The Hot Zone"...so why do we need to stick with a name of a Road that most outsiders can't either spell or pronounce? Frankly, this will be my station, so give me this one...please.

Reston Town Center - because there is no other reasonable candidate given RTC's prominence...especially since WMATA wants the names to reflect geography. Otherwise, I would name this bad boy "Robert E. Simon"

Herndon - because it is. Herndon is a proud town with a long history...and one of the few towns in Fairfax County...and you are seriously telling me that they can't have their own station? BTW, screw the "Munroe" suffix...unless you can pull 5 people off of a sidewalk on Elden Street and get 2 of them to explain what it means.

Sully Plantation - because "Route 28" sucks...and putting "Dulles" in the name is just going to confuse people...especially when they get off and don't see an airport.

Think we'll get those names or something better than what was proposed? No. Why? Because your vote doesn't matter. Money does...and that's because we don't hold our politicians to a higher standard.

See you at Isaac Newton Square in 2013.

by Scuba Steve on Apr 7, 2011 6:05 pm • linkreport

I just checked the map. Only one station has the word "Tysons" in it.

Wiehle – Reston East
Spring Hill
Greensboro
Tysons Corner
McLean

by Pat J. on May 27, 2014 2:46 pm • linkreport

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