What's in a name?
For stations in the D.C. metro system, the answer going forward will be fewer characters, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials announced recently when the announced they would shortened the names of 11 stops.
The new naming policy, which will take effect on the June 2012 map, will use "primary" and "second" names for station names that have become longer, more complex and hyphenated in past years, including "Vienna/Fairfax-GMU," which under the new policy will be known simply as "Vienna," with "Fairfax-GMU" as a subtitle.
The change comes as metro prepares for a realignment of the blue and yellow lines next June, the Washington Examiner reports, an initative that will require new maps. WMATA decided that "tacking the name changes on to the work" made sense, the Examiner reported.
Other stations affected by the policy include (Primary names are in bold):
West Falls Church-VT/UVA
Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U
Mt. Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Georgia Ave-Petworth Grosvenor-Strathmore Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood
The policy will require all names going forward to have 19 characters or less; and any landmark included in a name must be within a half mile of the station.
Several of the station names in the system are outdated or are misleading, officials and users of the system have said. The blog Greater Greater Washington, which earlier this year hosted a Metro map redesign contest on its site, pointed out that Vienna/Fairfax-GMU implies that George Mason University is a nearby landmark, when it is really more than four miles away