Red Line was Central Link, Blue Line was East Link (mockup by author)

We could soon be riding the Red Line instead of Central Link and talk about the Lynnwood Extension instead of the North Corridor HCT Project beginning in 2014. An update to the policy for naming Sound Transit facilities and Link lines is up for consideration at the Sound Transit Board’s February 23rd meeting.

Link lines would be named by color and destination at the end of the line. For example, the north-south Central Link line would be called the Link Red Line (Westlake or SeaTac/Airport). Supposedly, Tacoma Link would also get a color. Staff recommendation and rider feedback would help establish a color scheme. The naming structure would apply to projects in the early planning phase. Examples of US cities that name their rail lines after colors include Boston, Washington, Chicago, Portland, and Los Angeles.

The criteria for naming stations and other facilities would be updated to add “Avoid similar names or words in existing facility names”. I’m thinking that we may not see Brooklyn Station renamed to University District Station as there is already a University Street Station. We might not see a Husky Stadium Station either, since there’s already a Stadium Station.

There will be a three-phase process for determining the permanent name of a station. First, staff will develop potential names based on the criteria. Then the public will be asked for input around the 30% design process. Finally, at Phase Gate 5 or around 60% design, the Board will have final authority in naming stations.

253 Replies to “ST Board to Consider Facility and Link System Naming Policy”

    1. Those guys should not get the stadium named after them. They already the only street named after a musical figure Gerhardt Schmaltz (or whatever). This in a city that product Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Quincy Jones, Kenny G, etc.

      It’s disgraceful.

      1. Schmaltz was autocorrect. I guess the dude’s name is gerard. Doesn’t matter, shouldn’t have a street named after him if Jimi doesn’t.

        What’s up with naming streets after living people anyway?

      2. The street hasn’t actually been renamed, it’s just an honorary gesture.

        Jimi is having a park named after him, does he need a street too? He didn’t actually do anything for Seattle other than being born here. Gerard Schwarz lead the symphony for 26 years and got Benaroya Hall built, that has to at least be worth a crummy brown street sign.

        Why do people have to be dead to have a street named after them? Most of the named streets in Seattle were named after people who were living at the time.

      3. Most of the named streets in Seattle were named after people who were living at the time.

        Maybe you’re right. I mostly just think the location is unfortunate (right above a station) when it would have been better put over that the seattle center. I’ve performed there several times, it’s a very good hall.

      4. It would have been nice at Seattle Center, but I think the Benaroyas already owned the vacant lot that the hall was built on. Do you remember when the exit from the station just went out into an empty lot? It was pretty grim.

      5. Symphony station is a nice name for other reasons beyond just the resident symphony. The word adds a pleasant air of culture to the subway map, and thus to the city. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “Symphony station” downtown even if the symphony weren’t in that building or were disbanded?

        In St Petersburg, Russia, one of the central downtown stations is “Mayakovskaya”. Mayakovski was a 19th-century Russian poet. The name honors one of Russia’s literary heroes, but it also gives the station and the city a pleasant cultural air every time you see that name. “Symphony” station could do the same thing.

      6. I don’t think we should name them after private organisations, public ones, sure (UW is fine) but private ones, no thanks.

      7. When U-Link is open and Westlake is no longer an endpoint, I’d like to rename U-Street something that tells people “Downtown Seattle”, or “Financial District”.

      8. They should hold a contest to rename both University Street and the station, though it would probably end up being something dumb.

      9. This extreme reaction to the possibility of naming the station after a major cultural organization that is directly above it is a little silly, but I do think “Financial District” would be better, just because it describes the general area rather than one attraction.

      10. Well, maybe you’re right. I think naming it after any landmark will work in the long run as long as it’s not confusing. Financial district is fine. Central station is fine, too. Or whatever.

  1. I think the ferry icon is one stop off. Shouldn’t it be at Pioneer Square, rather then University?

    ‘U’- District Station and Husky Station!

  2. Can our LRVs indicate color on the reader boards though? Or will SoundTransit also need to use a number / letter with the color like new York city?

    1. Colors in New York are strictly informative. They are not part of the name of the service. They are assigned based on the line in which the service runs in Manhattan. (MTA uses “line” to refer to a branch and “service” to refer to a route that runs on one or more lines.)

      Best example in recent memory: they rerouted the M, and now it’s brown instead of yellow.

      1. Actually, now it’s orange instead of brown. (Orange is the 6th Ave Subway, yellow is the Broadway BMT and brown is the Nassau Street Subway)

        But yes, the color identifies the Manhattan subway section of the line. It’ll be a long time before Seattle has enough trunk lines to need the same color/number scheme, even in Ben Schindelman’s (sp?) wildest dreams.

      2. I know … I was born and raised in NYC … but my point remains …

        if the LRVs cannot display a color code and if you don’t want to hard-code (i.e. paint) the line color on the LRVs themselves (prevents cross-fleeting) … then calling the lines by color is not as helpful as a number/letter.

        Doing both … visually the “A” Train could be blue and the “B” train could be red … would solve both problems

      3. Considering the signs on the LRVs currently display amber, I can’t imagine they don’t support displaying red or green, since amber is generated by alternating quickly between them.

      4. That could cause a problem for people with limited color vision. That would be a problem for any color-based organization scheme, but it seems like there would need to be a big contrast between colors if we use LEDs to differentiate between them.

      5. You could always spell out the color in the normal amber on the head/side display boards. It’s not like the only way to indicate the color of a line is via a direct RGB representation of said color…

      6. Well it’ll also display the destination name, so color blind people will still be able to know where the train is going.

    2. The DC Metro has lines identified by color, but the signs in the front of the train show the color name in yellow (e.g., “Blue” in yellow). Apparently the signs can only display one color.

      1. Paris is the same way. Frankly calling one SeaTac and the other Overlake is going to make it very obvious which one you don’t want to fall asleep on and give you an additional directional, something that a color wouldn’t do. Color is useful if there are a lot of lines or if need to take several lines (not just two) to get somewhere.

      2. Naming lines by color appears to have been a DC Metro invention. (The lines don’t have natural names; each one winds through all manner of neighborhoods.) Many cities copied this system, including Boston.

        But it only works if you have relatively few lines. New York has too many lines, as do London and Paris; there aren’t enough colors. That probably won’t be a problem in Seattle for a while.

  3. Can we please stop putting the Tacmoa Streetcar in the same brand as the Link? Link is almost entirely grade separated and has average spacing >1mi. The Tacoma Steetcar has stop spacing < 1/3mi and runs entirely in the street, exactly like a streetcar. Plus it's not like ST won't run streetcars, it's not like the FH Streetcar is gonig to be call the First Hill Link because ST runs it.

      1. Speaking of Tacoma (Streetcar) Link, South Lake Union Streetcar and new First Hill Streetcar… While 2 of the 3 of these are not ST products, shouldn’t Seattle and Metro work with ST and coordinate to color key these as well and possibly the Monorail? What about all the Rapid Ride lines? They are going to be alpha rather than color differentiated?

      2. I think it’s a good idea to use colors for rail lines and numbers/letters for bus routes — there’s a clear delineation between the mode of transit readily identified by each service’s designation.

      3. I’m fine with that, as long as we give all of the rail a color, so the SLUT and FHS should get a color too if the Tacoma Streetcar gets a color.

      4. I totally don’t want to contribute to ridiculous “NOMENCLATURE CENTITHREAD TERRIBLENESS”, but… where the wheels meet the tracks, doesn’t Seattle Streetcar contract out the operation to KC Metro? Giving FHS the Full Trifecta of regional transit weirdness?

    1. If you get a big enough streetcar network, coloring them all becomes confusing. It’s also confusing because they are a different level of service from Link. That “blue line” and SLU are no where near eachother in service level.

      I think we should use greek letters. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc. It could be a school lesson for the riders, making everyone a bit smarter as they plan their trips.

      Just kidding.

      1. Well, you could do as Beijing and Shanghai do and they color coordinate AND alpha or numeric the lines.

      2. Link = Primary colors (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Etc)
        Streetcar = Gem Colors (ruby, Saphire, diamond, emerald, etc)
        Heavy/Commuter rail (sounder) = Metalic Colors (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, etc)

    2. @Stephen, I disagree entirely. What you’re saying only makes sense to us transit nerds who care passionately about the differences. But having a million different brandings in the region leads to confusion among everyday riders. Just like Metro doesn’t brand trolley routes differently than long haul routes, neither should Sound Transit brand streetcars differently than light rail lines, or maybe even Sounder, for that matter. The lack of consistency is already bad enough, let’s not make it worse.

      1. The difference is that in terms of how you use it, a trolleybus is functionally identical to a diesel bus. However, a streetcar is fundamentally different from light rail. One goes far distances and the other doesn’t.

        That being said, if you want to brand ALL of the streetcars similarly, that’s perfectly fine. But what makes even less sense is to brand the Tacoma Streetcar one way and the First Hill another and the SLUT a third. People unfamiliar with the system don’t care at all what agency funds something, they only care about how they can use it.

      2. So… our bus service has some different brands indicating different service types. It’s done inconsistently (and with a heavy whiff of politics), but it’s something. For example, there are regular routes, express routes, and RR within KC Metro. ST Express is a totally different brand for regional bus service; although the distinction between KC and ST routes gets pretty arbitrary around the margins (more politics here?), it’s not a bad distinction in principle.

        I think that Community Transit does something pretty smart with bus branding. Go to Lynnwood Transit Center some time and watch the buses go by. 1xx and 2xx routes are locals (I think there’s some sort of geographical distinction); 4xx are downtown commuter routes; 8xx are UW commuter routes. Then there are 5xx ST Express buses. There’s a clear distinction between commuter routes and local routes, which have different fare structures and service patterns (the fact that all their “commuter” routes go out of county probably makes it easier for them to make the distinction).

        Train service distinctions within an integrated system are perhaps handled most logically in the German-speaking world. In the city I was in there was only one “brand”, “der Bahn”, but there’s a clear progression from streetcars to U-Bahnen (roughly Link-class), S-Bahnen (Sounder-class), and R-Bahnen (Amtrak-class). On the other hand, in the US different types of services seem have totally different brands. Take the Bay Area, in rough order of “rapidness”: Muni in SF, VTA Light Rail in SJ, BART (SF and east bay), Caltrain, and Amtrak. That’s the direction we’re heading.

      3. Bahn means something in between “track” and “railroad”. All train/subway/streetcar systems have it in their name. A transit agency slogan I saw was, “mit Bus und Bahn” (by bus and rail). However, to indicate one particular track the signs say Gleis rather than Bahn (“Gleis A”, “Gleis B”).

        In Russia, the type of service is part of the route name. “A10” means Autobus 10, a diesel bus. “T10” (with a cyrillic T that looks like M) means Tramvay 10, a streetcar. “T10” (with a Latin T) means Trolleybus 10. All these are different routes with the same number. I never saw the trolley system break down where they had to substitute a diesel bus, but if it did happen I guess it would have to say “Trolleybus 10” on it!

  4. I think this is a great idea, aside from a few of the aforementioned qualms. We definitely do need a naming scheme, otherwise people would probably start coming up with their own, “Oh yeah, you just need to ride Central Link from Westlake.”, doesn’t have a nice ring to it. I like Red Line a lot, or really any other quick and easy naming/numbering scheme.

    They need to focus on branding too, so avoid naming the streetcar systems the same as Link, but maybe creating a separate but equally systematic naming scheme for them.

    1. I always thought Central Link would eventually become the blue line because that’s what’s on the existing maps.

  5. Blue should be north gate to airport (because all great cities have blue lines going to their airports)
    Red should be northgate-bellevue(which I imagine will have higher ridership than to the airport anyways)
    Stops should be named for major streets they cross. Husky stadium should be pacific/montlake, etc.

    1. Agreed on station naming. Brooklyn/NE 45th or Roosevelt/NE 65th. In these cases, it makes more sense to me to have the parallel street first and the cross street second. It’s even better with numbered streets and avenues because of their geographic significance.

    2. I would agree naming by street if more than one stop exists in a neighbourhood; however, if there is only one stop in a ‘hood it should reflect the major destination or ‘hood in the name while in Seattle’s city limits. I think street is more appropriate when outside of Seattle and outisde of significantly urban areas/urban centres.

      1. Hood names are not as useful as street names, I think, sure I know I’m going to this neighborhood, but the U District is a huge place, if I name the stop Udistrict, where in the Udistrict am I going? Naming stops after areas is a bad Idea IMO. Maybe, UW-pacific-montlake, but the streets need to be in the name (Like my stop here in Chicago, 35th-bronzeville-IIT, and Sox-35th. The major information is all present! )
        Chicago’s system is just the most user-friendly system I’ve ever experienced, (even if its not the most well kept one…) I think everywhere can learn something from CTA’s graphics and naming conventions.

      2. When in Dublin, I had no idea what Drimnagh or Rialto were as Luas stops other than try were neighbourhoods, but cross streets like Davitt Rd and James’s Walk/Rialto St. Would have been entirely usless information. Unless you know a place well, the streets are not always entirely useful.

        I don’t hear many people saying: “I’m going to 65th and 12th” or 100th an 1st”. They just say Roosevelt or Northgate. I pointed out that ‘hoods with more than one stop should appropriately name the stop by a street to identity it. I think generally one primary street is more than sufficient; two is overkill.

        To hit the point home, NYC names stations often by streets, excessively so in Manhattan. This is annoyingly confusing as many stations are named Canal, Chambers, 14th, 23rd… You get the point. That loses meaning.

      3. It’s my experience that most people use addresses to get around, and knowing what street you’re getting off at (wether you know the city nor not) helps you find your way to the end address much better. I would actually counter that neighborhoods are for people who know a city well, and navigating street-by-street is easier for out of towners. At least in american cities which are built on grids with clearly labeled streets. I don’t suppose it would be useful in dublin because their streets aren’t regular, and are probably not marked as well as ours. But here in the states we have a fantastic grid-based road network, combined with an equally fantastic grid-based addressing system that makes navigating by street name WAY Easier than by general area.

      4. I vote for street numbers/names too. If I’m looking at a map, I’m looking for streets. Neighborhoods aren’t necessarily associated with an address when you look up a destination.

        This argument is probably similar to navigating via N-S-E-W, street numbers, etc. versus navigating by landmark. I’m of the former variety and have difficulty giving directions to people who fall into the latter category.

      5. I think Stephen’s point is very good here. I know manhattan well enough I was never confused by that, but I was confused the entire time in Chicago.

      6. Where’s 15th NW and Market? Name it Ballard-Market Street. What about 15th NE and NE 45th? Name it U District-45th Street. Or 15th S and Lander? That’s (North) Beacon Hill. Those are three completely different and discontinuous streets but they all have 15th in the name. What about 1st NE and NE 103rd? That’s Northgate. Rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it?

        Seattle’s grid is not Chicago’s nor Manhattan’s. I don’t think it’s as ingrained in the people living here.

      7. Oran, I disagree. Including street/ave numbers with the directionals is helpful for navigation. To someone who does know and is comfortable with the street grid, it gives a sense of where the station is. Before Link, I didn’t even know where Beacon Hill was. If south, east and west Seattle consistently used street numbers, it would be a lot easier to get around for someone that doesn’t know the neighborhood.

      8. I don’t see Chicago’s cross street naming convention working as well in a place where there are so many variations on street type and direction. 35th means one thing in Wedgwood and something quite different in Fremont.

        “University District” isn’t bad, but given that there’s another stop for the University, there might be a problem there. “Brooklyn/NE 45th” might not be that bad.

        University Street is a potentially confusing and unfortunate naming choice.

      9. aw: I don’t disagree on the utility of cross streets for navigation. I disagree that they should be the only way to name stations. I prefer a combination of landmarks/neighborhood names with street names because some navigate by streets and some navigate by landmarks.

      10. Chicago repeatedly names stops by cross street. And multiple lines have stops at the same cross street — with the same name. (NY does the same thing.) This was probably OK when you said “Take the Lake Street Line to Chicago” (the Lake Street Line runs on Lake Street, so that tells you that the station is at the intersection of Lake Street and Chicago Street), but is really confusing now that the lines are the “Green Line” and “Blue Line”.

        Don’t do that.

        London names stops by neighborhood or landmark. It names lines by their corporate history or with arbitrary names like “Jubilee”. London also doesn’t have a street grid, making address-based names horrible. (NY should not use address-based names outside of Manhattan and the Bronx, since referring to the separate Queens and Brooklyn street grids is just confusing — but it does anyway.)

        I’d do it this way:
        (1) If there is a single major landmark right next to the station, use that name.
        (2) If there is a neighborhood/village/city with a standard name around the station, and there is only one station in that neighborhood (and only expected to be one), use that name.
        (3) If there is a prominent street which is very short (so the street identifies the location), use that name. This will not happen in the Seattle area.
        (4) Otherwise, if you are on the most major street grid in the region (so, Seattle’s, not Tacoma’s), use two street names — a full intersection.
        (5) If all else fails, use a local region prefix followed by a pair of street names.
        (“Tacoma South 11th & Commerce” is pretty wordy, but how else can you do it?)

    3. For specific landmarks, I have no problems with similarly named stations if they actually call out the name. Husky Stadium should be Husky Stadium; the currently named Stadium station should be Royal Brougham station, with callouts for the stadium names on the announcements (“this is royal brougham; exit for safeco and centurylink fields”).

      1. That’s a very good point. But Husky Stadium may well lose its name in future. Darn naming rights…Plus, it’s main purpose is to serve the U, not the stadium. I really am not fond of Husky Stadium as a name to be honest. (Disclosure: I am a former UW student.)

      2. I thought the plan was for it to be “Naming Rights Field @ Husky Stadium”, but maybe that’s changed…

      3. I’m not especially fond of Husky stadium at all (as an alum), but the name is terrible. UW station is not a bad name.

    4. That street name thing kind of sucks in Chicago. there are like 5 stations named california and ten named western (or whatever). Don’t get confused between them, because some are not in the nicest neighborhood. You really only need that if you have stops every few blocks, and we won’t have that.

      Neighborhood names work great in Japan, so no problem, and it’s actually more descriptive of where you’re going.

      1. I think the street-names work brilliantly personally. I am on the el all the time, and I think it is unbelievably easy to get around on it.and with respect to same named stations, you specify what line (or branch) you are on, and there’s no confusion at all. IE: Western blue Forest PArk branch. or Western Pink stop. etc.

      2. Yeah, in my 30+ years in the Chi I can’t recall anyone getting confused by this naming convention.

      3. If you know that you’re on the “O’Hare branch” or “Forest Park brancfh” or whatever, then yes, the cross street names work OK. But unfortunately the street-based LINE names were eliminated nearly 30 years ago now.

        There are two (2) “Western” stations on the Blue Line. Think about that for a minute.

    5. Seattle is a city identified by its neighborhoods. People say, “I’m going to Capitol Hill”, not “I’m going to Broadway & Denny”. A visitor is often given an address and told it’s in a certain neighborhood. There’s only one Link station in a neighborhood for the most part, so it’s not like people have a choice about which neighborhood station to use. It makes sense to put street designations on the map and perhaps in the verbal announcements, but they should be after the neighborhood names, not replacing them. Except for stations that don’t have a neighborhood nearby, like 145th or (potentially) 130th.

  6. Finally. Though I’d suggest going with Blue and Green, since those are the ST colors. But that might be indistinguishable for some color-blind users.

    1. Sorry, but the Green Line is reserved for the Ballard-Seattle Ctr-CPS line that runs through the DSTT to Spokane St-W.Seattle.
      Wait for it… (queue the capacity choir) Just Trolling!

    2. I would actually agree. I don’t think ST should use Red because that color is being used for the RapidRide brand.

    3. To fit ST’s color scheme, I’d suggest the lines are colored blue, indigo, green, teal, cyan, turquoise, olive, cobalt, navy, aqua, pine, jade…

  7. Booo. Colour code line, yes. Name it that colour, no. That’s so unoriginal and boring. Letters and numbers just make me gag. London does this right: identifiable colours and unique names for lines with relevant branch destinations. Sure, Central Link and East Link as names are fairly generic, but if anything we should give them more adequate names that are pleasing. Maybe the “Nickles Line” and “Freeman-Microsoft Line” would be fitting…

    1. I can’t think of a better way to honor East Link’s greatest opponent than by naming the very project he opposed in his name. (Okay, so it’s petty and ridiculous, but it is fun to think about.)

  8. Forgive me, I’ve never heard of blue-green colorblindness.

    What shall we do when Seattle Subway is built and there are 5 lines to color! Red, Blue, Green, Purple, and Yellow (Orange?), perhaps?

    1. Portland does it fine. Red, Yellow, Blue and Green for MAX; Orange for the Portland Streetcar.

      We’ll actually have two streetcar lines to color: FHS and SLU (maybe even three if the extension to Brooklyn is deemed its own line.)

      1. Orange is for the Milwaukie MAX line. PDX Streetcar doesn’t have a formal color designation, though I have heard it referred to as the Silver line. Why, I have no idea…

      2. Chicago had a competition to choose a color for a new line when a lesser branch of the Blue was made into a separate line. It already had six or seven lines, the obvious “transit” colors. The winner was Pink.

    2. Also, “tritanopia” is the official name of blue-yellow color blindness, which causes blue and green to be very difficult or impossible to distinguish.

    3. We should tell SoundTransit that all these colors are reserved for the SeattleSubway since they didn’t build alignments to suit Seattle riders. :-D

  9. What about similar names in similar places? Rename ID/Chinatown to include King Street in there somehow, and you begin to build some locational synergy around transit; the entire area becomes the a transit hub with one name. Add some wayfinding signs (and the possibility of a direct pedestrian connection between the train station and the tunnel station sounds great, even if it may not be feasible), and you’re set.

    1. In London this is down with Kings Cross-St Pancras. Kings Cross is not only a terminal station itself, but a ‘hood. I’d drop Chinatown though. Anything beyond 16 characters is too much.

    2. I totally second this, King St. Station/ID. As well I like your royal brougham suggestion.

    3. Even bringing up the idea of dropping the Chinatown name would get ST so much flack and community outrage it’s not worth it. Same thing with the ID name.

      There’s a reason it’s no longer called just the ID station.

      1. Station naming is a bad place to try and play politics, especially (!!!) when we’re talking about the future major intermodal transfer point of the entire regional transit system. In this case, King Street Station itself predates every other mode of transport in that area; it was there first, and history ought to win out. By this token, it should ALL be King Street Station down there, no Chinatown, no ID.

        This is one place where Sound Transit should put its foot down (which is something I very rarely think they should do) and assert itself over the future of transit wayfinding in that particular part of town. They should solicit input for the community (this is Seattle, after all), but they need to choose based on the best interests of the greater ridership population. It will include local residents, but it includes many other people too – someone from out of town may not have any idea that King Street Station and International District/Chinatown and 4th/Jackson streetcar stop…are all really in the same place.

        (Hooray for Royal Brougham!)

      2. That’s true. Just refering to it as King Street Station or King Street Exchange or something like that would be more than sufficient if it’s really that much of bother trying to axe solely “Chinatown”. Like I said before, keeping character length down is very important.

      3. “someone from out of town may not have any idea that King Street Station and International District/Chinatown and 4th/Jackson streetcar stop…are all really in the same place.”

        Indeed. This should all be “King Street Station”.

        Seattle appears to be unique worldwide in having “King Street Station” as an intercity railway station; it’s a good, solid, unique name. All the stops should be named that. Wayfinding would be necessary mind you!

  10. Then why are they not changing the station name of either Overlake TC or Overlake Village? Is it only in Seattle that station names can’t sound too similar? They probably realize eastsiders are a little smarter and can figure out the difference.

    1. Overlake TC should never have been called Overlake in the first place, because “Overlake” means the area they’re calling Overlake Village. So Overlake TC should change its name.

      1. Overlake Village and Overlake TC have very specific meanings. Even after Link is built, OTC will still be a hugely important TC. Probably in the top 5 of the region. Meanwhile, Overlake Village is the real heart of Overlake as an urban centre.

      2. Overlake Village is the real heart of Overlake as an urban centre.

        Overlake isn’t an urban center, it’s not even much of a shopping center compared to Bellevue Square and Crossroads Mall. Overlake Village is on the fringe. It’s boardered by a vacant hospital, a sea of MS campus parking, SF homes and retail property that is becoming ever more vacant. It only exists because the County thought it would be a good place for subsidized housing.

      3. @Bernie: I had meant to put a disclaimer to that statement early. That being, Overlake Village is designated an urban center and will be heavily developed over the coming years. Not only because of the light rail, but because of the masterplan, policies, and zoning in effect for the area. The MSFT campus will remain what it is as an employment centre, but not the diverse, urban environment that Overlake Village is destined to be. Thus, I stand by what I said before. Overlake Village is the heart of the area and the destinction between OTC and Overlake Village is clear.

    2. But if Sound Transit won’t rename Brooklyn Station to University District Station, because there is already a University Street Station, then it follows that there should not be both an Overlake Transit Center Station and an Overlake Village Station on the same line. Sound Transit needs to be consistent in their logic.

      1. Maybe the will be, and Overlake TC will be renamed to, I don’t know, South Redmond Transit Center. I doubt the prohibition refers to “South Something”. Otherwise South Bellevue would have to be renamed, but what else can you call it? Enatai Station? Blueberry Farm station? Slough Station?

  11. What should the East Link stations be named? Few of the existing interim names due their station neighborhoods justice. Some have specific problems, like South Bellevue being confused with the area south of I-90.

  12. I think red should be avoided. It’s already been claimed by RapidRide, with a brand built around the color red, and red lines on maps. It would be very confusing to have red lines on a map for RapidRide and another red line on the same map for Link.

    1. Or we could kill the failure that is RapidRide and free up the color for actual rapid transit service.

  13. Does anyone know what will happen with Convention Place Station (bus only) when the transit tunnel becomes train only? I was hoping the Blue Line (East Link) would maybe run to it in the future but it now appears that will go all the way to Lynwood. Trains can’t go to the station now because it is too high up for the University Link Tunnel to connect with. If, however, a line was to terminate on its north end at Convention Place Station, the station could be saved (since it wouldn’t use any of the University Link segment).

      1. But Convention Place station won’t be used…

        I vote for tearing it down and a nice big residential tower get built there…

      2. Redevelopment of it is very desirable. Mixed use, please! Although, there may still be a need for the underground infrastructure. Or, what about a bus terminal? Of course, not in the crappy way of the Port Authority h3ll.

      3. We can’t assume where East Link trains will end. I think the latest schedule said peak hour trains would go to Lynnwood. ST has waffled on two lines vs three, so it’s not unlikely they’ll change their minds once or twice again.

    1. I have read (on this blog, nothing official) that it will be retained as bus layover space in the future.

      1. So would it then connect to Westlake through the tunnel? That’d be awesome except I don’t know how the busses could turn around down there. I just hope they use the station somehow in the future, as the tunnel already goes there and was payed for back in day.

      2. I don’t think that it would connect to the tunnel at some point in time, all the buses there might be gone. The station could still be useful, though as a passenger location. Otherwise, if you took out the bus bays, you could fit a ton of buses down there.

    2. Downtown through Brooklyn will have the highest capacity demands of the system for a long time. It would be a mistake to have any trains skip part of that segment, when they’re already coming so close.

      Yes, it’s a bit annoying to lose Convention Place. But realistically, I’d say that about half of its current users are coming from or going to Capitol Hill, and the other half are within walking distance of Westlake. So it’s not a big loss.

    3. My understanding about Convention Place is that they expected it to have higher ridership than it does, with convention-goers going to the airport or elsewhere. But it didn’t happen and so boardings are relatively low there. That’s one reason they didn’t try harder to include it in the light rail route.

      Of course, it doesn’t help that the eastbound trolleybuses stop more than a block away, at 8th & Pike. That depresses the Capitol Hill ridership.

      1. Wonder if they can add a Convention Place Station in the future if the needs warrant it?

      2. They can’t add it to the Link line that’s being built because the track is going a different direction. They could put it on a separate line, but where would that track go to? You don’t need more than one line to Capitol Hill, and the subway is fast enough that an Eastlake/express-lane line will never be necessary. Unless the line becomes so packed full that they need a parallel line, but in that case it would be built on Aurora to kill two birds with one stone. An Aurora line would not jog east to Convention Place station; the 2nd Avenue subway would be built by then.

  14. Also, East Main is not only horrible location for a station, it’s also a bad station name. First of all, it’s not accurate. Where the East Main station is, is toward the western most part of where Main street in Bellevue starts. From that station, Main street still continues miles more toward the east. Main street in Bellevue starts on around 100th Ave at its westernmost point, and continues east until about 164th Ave. If the station is at 116th, that is much more west than it is east. Unless they are naming it East Main to differentiate it from the Main street in Seattle. If they are, the must have a very low opinion of their rider’s intelligence.

    I think a better station name for this stop is Surrey Downs, or Main & 116th.

    1. It is not named “East Main St”. I think that was an error unless it is relfected by Sound Transit, which is still an error. I don’t believe there is any directional indication on Main St. But, perhaps it is for differentiation from Seattle by the Author, which would be odd.

      1. That’s a working name. It hasn’t formally been named yet.

        BTW, Main & 116th would be really dumb since the station isn’t there.

      2. It would be much better to include the directionals: E Main/112th NE.

        Getting back to the original comment, East Main is the name of the street. And it’s a bit incorrect to say that it “continues” to 164th NE because there are missing pieces. And it goes much further than 164th:

      3. AW, I’m not doubting you, but would you please show me where Main street in Bellevue, especially around 112th and Main, is called East Main street? I’ve looked at several different maps, and none of them call it East Main street. It’s just Main street.

      4. Hmmm, maybe you’re right. It is E. Main in Sammamish and that bit further east, but it looks like in Bellevue it is just Main St.

      5. By the county naming scheme, it is East Main. East-West streets on the Eastside county grid are Southeast south of Main (Southeast 1st) and Northeast north of Main (Northeast 1st). Main is just plain East, no south or north.

        But within Bellevue city limits, they seem to have dropped the direction from the name. Probably because it sounds nice and gives people a warm and fuzzy feeling. It must have been done relatively recently because I remember it being E Main in Bellevue when I was growing up.

        Odds are, Sound Transit was using a map with the old county street name on it. Maybe Bellevue dropped the direction so quietly that the County maps never got updated with the new name.

      6. I remember it being E Main in Bellevue when I was growing up.

        When was that? I don’t remember anything other than just Main Street. Made a quick search of the family archives which go back to the late 50’s and can’t find anything referencing East Main in Bellevue.

        It is E. Main in Sammamish

        All the roads up on the Plateau are relatively new and Sammamish didn’t incorporate until 1999 so they were all unincorporated King County when originally signed. Bellevue didn’t incorporate until 1953 but it was developed long before that. Meydenbauer Bay was logged in the 1800s.

      7. It’s not “East” because there is no East sector, at least not on the Eastside.

        However, Bellevue signs also drops the direction on all named streets, such as Northup Way and Lake Hills Blvd.

      1. I like the sound of Old Main; drop the east. Wilburton would also work. But really this station should be deferred. First there’s not sufficent density to warrant a station and the last thing we need is the cry, “Upzone Baby Upzone” with the station as an excuse. Now, if the ST board had the good sense God gave a gnat and came into town on 114th then yes, a pedestrian bridge and mixed use to replace empty parking lots and big box stores would be terrific.

  15. I think colors aren’t practical. There are only a limited number of colors. What happens once Link and Seattle Subway gets built out? Colors should be there only for reference, not as the actual name for the lines.

    I think the name should convey not only the destination of the train but also what kind of train it is, like in German systems.

    * Link should be designated as U# to [Destination], with U being Underground (yes I know Link isn’t fully underground, but neither is the London Underground. It’s a convention, not really a technicality). Underground implies subway.

    * Sounder should be designated S# to [Destination], with S for Semi-fast

    * Amtrak cascades/high speed rail in the future should be HSR # to [Destination].

    1. Now that I think about it, it’s a lot like our highway system. I-# implies highway, SR # implies a semi-fast road, etc.

      Transportation is a practical tool, and we need to convey as much information clearly in as few words as possible.

      Red line to Northgate tells you the destination and nothing else.

      U1 to Northgate tells you the destination and the type of train.

      1. SR just means the state pays for it, while I means it’s an interstate. That’s it. In california you have US-101 and I-605 or whatever, and all that means is one’s an interstate and the other isn’t.

        U-bahn/S-Bahn works in Germany because they do it over the whole country (and neighbouring ones as well).

      2. Link Red Line is too long. Think about the practical applications, like website usage and mobile phone apps. Do you really want to clutter your screen with three words when you can convey the same information in 3 characters? Let me think of a few examples:

        * Electronic displays for train exteriors and interior: Double phase “Link Red Line” and “Northgate” vs single phase “U1 Northgate”

        * Link Red Line takes up a lot more room on websites and mobile phone apps. “Link Red Line” to Northgate might take up two lines on a mobile phone, while “U1” to Northgate will take up one.

        * Real-estate on signs in stations become more expensive and cluttered. “Link Red Line” has to be written out. “U1” can be displayed by enclosing “U1” in a circle.

        * Announcements are twice as long for “Link Red Line” vs “U1”

        * Most importantly, alpha-numeric names are LANGUAGE NEUTRAL. U1 to a foreigner will be just U1. Link Red Line is English-based. This is the same reason why road signs in Europe and Asia are pictorial, rather than text based like ours.

        My point is that as much information should be conveyed in as few words/letters as possible. The more “fluff” we can remove, the more concise it will be.

        Andrew, SR and I- do imply some practical differences for the average user. In general, SR routes are not built to highway standards, but some can be. Interstates will almost always be full highway standard. The concept is the same as the U# and S# system. The preceding letters imply the GENERAL type of service you can expect. States also pay for the maintenance of Interstates.

        It doesn’t matter if the rest of the U.S. follows a different naming convention. Perhaps if we take the lead in developing a concise, numeric naming system, other states will follow.

      3. I actually prefer numbers/letters to colors (impossible to read in low light, meaningless to visually impaired, language dependent in writing-see LA Gold line controversy).

        On conciseness I disagree: RED is enough to signify the line on mobile devices. There aren’t any other red lines in Seattle. In Portland, the train signs have a colored square/circle and the destination. Station signs just have a colored circle above the station name. “This is a Red line train” has the same number of syllables as “This is a U1 train.”

        You can be language neutral only to a degree. The station names are not language neutral, nor should they be. They do have the pictograms. Other systems assign alphanumeric codes to stations like (NE12) which is helpful in places that don’t use the Roman alphabet.

        I also like proper names. Singapore names its lines but since it has 4 official languages it assigns an alphanumeric code to each station and numbers each line’s terminus.

      4. I think Central Line and East Line is fine. U1 – Central Line is fine too. “Red Line” is worse than U1 for the reasons you mention.

        The more “fluff” we can remove, the more concise it will be.

        Of course that’s a tautology. However, is the goal of naming to be concise or to be usable? “Red line” is bad on the second but fine on the first. U1 – Central Line is better: you get both.

        Which are these picture based asian road signs? I’m used to these:
        Japan :
        China :
        India :

        Or these: in the uk.

      5. Okay, I’ve thought about this all day and we need to go to the next board meeting and lobby for letters+ colors.. who’s with me?

      6. That would be fun. What’s your position on this?

        I’d support Letter + Number as the official name, while using color as a reference on maps.

      7. ST needs to get the word “station” out of its announcements and signboards. Of course it’s a station, where else does a train stop (and open its doors)?

    2. Colors work fine for DC Metro. They announce color and end point at each stop and their wayfinding/map placement is typically good enough that it’s not an issue. Oh, and they have real time arrival information. :-)

    3. German U# implies usefulness for intra-urban trips, which is for the most part categorically untrue of Link.

      1. It’s the closest we have to a subway at this point. The stations from Rainier Valley to Northgate are probably enough to justify the use of “intra-urban”. They’re technically in the same city.

      2. All I was saying is that, per your German nomenclature, we’ve got an S-Bahn on our hands, if that. (Even S-Bahn stations in urban areas are more walkably spaced than ours.)

      3. Actually d.p., the S-Bahn lines I used in Munich were spaced similarly to Central Link. You could easily walk between the stations in the center city, but walking between the stations further out would have been a hike.

        Per the conversation, however, the S-Bahn/U-Bahn naming convention works quite well and I think Seattle could do much worse in choosing a scheme.

      4. I think your comparative familiarity with one city over the other may be confusing your perception of distance.

        Peeking at a map — and Google Maps conveniently outlines city limits now — Munich’s S-bahns are spaced at no more than 1/2 – 2/3 of a mile anywhere within 3 miles of the city center.

        Beyond that, the gaps widen just about a mile throughout the rest of the urban boundary. There are only a handful of wider gaps, of which I can find only one wider than 1.5 miles.

        This is in keeping with my recollection of Berlin’s even more extensively criss-crossing S-bahns.

        Now compare to Link, with its present 1.7-mile gaps in southeast Seattle and planned 2.5-mile hops past most of central and north Seattle. Heck, the moment you leave downtown Seattle you leap more than a mile to Broadway.

        On Germany’s S-bahns, such inexplicably limited access and urban usefulness would be unthinkable!

      5. “…the gaps widen to just about a mile throughout the rest of the urban boundary.” On average. There are plenty of shorter stop spacings even towards the edge of the urban area.

        1 mile gaps are walkable for many or most. Wider gaps are not.

      6. Pictures being worth thousands of words and all…

        Munich, with the S-bahns in green. That convenient 5000-foot (just under a mile) scale bar in the lower left proves just how much more convenient S-bahn stop spacing is than Link’s.

        Seattle at the same scale. How many more stops would there be between downtown and the U-district if we followed the S-bahn’s lead?

        Berlin, similar scale. S-bahns crisscrossing in green again. Lots and lots of stops throughout this six mile by six mile square.

      7. I was mostly thinking of S2 to Dachau which I used for about a week a couple of years ago. That has pretty wide spacing once you’re out of the city center.

        Peeking at a map — and Google Maps conveniently outlines city limits now — Munich’s S-bahns are spaced at no more than 1/2 – 2/3 of a mile anywhere within 3 miles of the city center.

        3 miles from Seattle’s city center (along Link) is mount baker station. Now, I know your feelings on Link’s stop spacing, and I tend to agree with you, but I still argue Link is broadly comparable to Munich’s S-Bahn system in scale. Are the two systems the same? Absolutely not. But in the spirit of me agreeing that we should use the S-Bahn naming convention for link (as opposed to the U-Bahn), I think you should be agreeing with me.

      8. Inasmuch as Link being much more a suburban railway than an urban underground was my original point, I could agree with you on the S-bahn nomenclature. (Recall that at first, you suggested calling Link the U-bahn.)

        We had better not delude ourselves into making streetcars our standard for urban service, though.

        Interestingly, “S-bahn” actually means “Stadtschnellbahn” (“city rapid railway”) — so connectivity across the wider urban continuum was its original purpose, with suburban/regional reach arriving later. But you are correct that it has become an international shorthand for city-suburban hybrid rail. Sad that Link insists on being detrimental to the former for the questionable benefit of the latter.

        3 miles from Seattle’s city center (along Link) is mount baker station.

        Yes, but I made clear that the 3-mile radius was only where 1/2-2/3 mile spacing ends. The 1-mile-average spacing remains consistent throughout the 5- or 6-mile radius that is the contiguous urban zone.

        So even on a line all the way to Dachau/Lynnwood, you should still have had your First Hill station, plus a station on Broadway, and one below the 15th East strip, and one under Montlake, and possibly three spanning the U-District, and then every mile to at least 85th.

        An S-bahn with Ballard along its route would still stop in Belltown, and at Denny, and at Mercer, and under both Galer and McGraw on its way. And again, that’s in the S-bahn model. A U-bahn would have at least 3 stops between Leary and 65th.

      9. Just to be clear, I suggested this:

        Per the conversation, however, the S-Bahn/U-Bahn naming convention works quite well and I think Seattle could do much worse in choosing a scheme.

        I think Link should be renamed using the S-Bahn S_ convention, and if Seattle subway ever gets built, it should adopt the U_ convention.

      10. If only there were more dense neighborhoods on the North Link/North Corridor route that would justify a station. How many houses would an 85th station serve? Five? Meanwhile there is demand to travel between Mountlake Terrace and north Seattle, which Link has stations for.

      11. Frankly, the SF built around 85th is as dense as any SF in Brookline, Mass, Evanston or Oak Park, IL, or much of Queens. 8000 people live withing a 15-minute walk of there.

        You give those people a chance to get anywhere on real transit, and they can fill it up.

        You don’t earn regular riders by bypassing them. Or bypassing all of the places they might ever go.

        Meanwhile, all that “demand” from the suburbs is once-daily, and even the grossly exaggerated numbers for Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace are kind of pathetic for a flagship line.

      12. Frankly, the SF built around 85th is as dense as any SF in Brookline, Mass, Evanston or Oak Park, IL, or much of Queens. 8000 people live withing a 15-minute walk of there.

        I’m really not sure that’s true. Brookline is actually denser than Seattle. If you exclude South Brookline, where virtually no one lives, the number would be even higher.

        Around 85th, most of the census tracts (as of 2000) were somewhere between 12 and 18 people per acre. Brookline is closer to 25-30 or more. That’s the kind of density that you see in East Capitol Hill.

      13. Well, the other key is that not every S-bahn stop is a $300 million monument to a neighborhoods distended sense of its own importance. This one is a platform and a pedestrian underpass.

        Ditto outer stations on Chicago’s and Queen’s elevateds — just platforms propped up alongside the track.

        And yes, lower-volume subway stops with single entrances can have their costs slashed as well.

        Eliminate the ridiculous and totally artificial station price tags, and there’s no reason for the uninterrupted semi-dense s.f. of Montlake or Maple Leaf not to have rapid transit they can walk to.

        The “save 20 seconds on a few thousand people’s once-per-day commute from Lynnwood” argument — Mike’s favorite — comes at the expense of myriad urban trip-pairs and holds absolutely no water.

    4. Paris has colors for their lines and there are a bazillion of them. They have like lavender and pink and all sorts of non-primary colors. I have only ever been a tourist in Paris but I didn’t find the system THAT confusing to use, and the colors certainly didn’t make it harder to use.

      1. But do people in Paris call lines by their color or by their number? The different colors make it easier to tell the lines apart. I don’t think people there call Metro Line 2 “the dark blue line”.

    5. “I think colors aren’t practical. There are only a limited number of colors. What happens once Link and Seattle Subway gets built out? ”

      The DC Metro hasn’t had that problem yet and it opened in 1976. And has been expanding continuously since then.

      If you get to the level where you’re having that problem — London, New York, or Paris numbers of lines — just rename the lines then.

  16. To appeal to the intelligence and interests of our dear riders, let us name the stations after top commercial or employment destinations. After all, that’s where the lines are trying to get people. Thus, we have: Airport Station, UW Station, Microsoft Station, King Street Station Station, and a Toys ‘R’ Us station at East Main.

    And it’s OK to have several Starbucks stations. Look up Arbatskaya in Moscow.

    1. Wait… ST should sell the naming rights! This way we don’t have to discuss the name and we get interesting unique stations too. Microsoft will certainly buy a few stations to advertise themselves.

      I can already imagine it: Now entering Bing! station.

      1. And DSTT will no longer be DSTT. It will be the Microsoft Office Tunnel with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook stations.

      2. I hate that trend. SEPTA in Philly renamed the Broad Street Line Terminus “AT&T Station” with the logo on the route map. I think that’s completely inappropriate.

      3. The SEPTA “AT&T” station is particularly crazy and useless; the location has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with AT&T. Naming fail.

  17. Given the Sodo Mojo slogan…I don’t know if they’re still using it, but its memetically attached to my brain, I still find it confusing as to whether I’m supposed to get off at Stadium or Sodo for a Mariners’ game.

    If they build an NBA/NHL Stadium in the proposed location, will it be a Sodo or Stadium stop?

    In any case, what I need is more Sounder runs. And HSR to Centralia!

    1. Equidistant from either. If there’s a large entrance on the North side of the building, the Stadium station would have a slight advantage. The Holgate stop on the Busway is ideal.

  18. Perfect.
    There are 23 ‘You Are Here’ blue dots on the map, says the legend.
    “Beam me up, Scotty.”

      1. Erm, no. No, I don’t.

        Though now I see that Westlake is formatted similarly to the “You are here” text in the legend…that might need to be clarified.

  19. I like the idea of the colors, especially having them run in parallel along common segments as depicted in Oran’s map. Starts to have a bit of a DC metro feel to it…

    Are station naming changes only on the table for new stations or for the whole system? I really think University Street needs to be renamed to something else once the UW stations come on line, and I think you could argue that Westlake could use a name change too since that street is starting to become much more relevant throughout all of SLU and not just in downtown.

    As far as Husky Stadium, Brooklyn, etc. why don’t we just call them “UW South” and “UW North” and not worry about finding the perfect place name for those areas?

    1. They do this in Japan, where you’ll have a Ginza station, a East Ginza station, and a West Ginza station.

      “University Street station” cannot stand, they should rename it “Freedom Bible Eagle Station”

      1. “Freedom Bible Eagle Station”…

        Not sure I get the reference, but I like it. Seems like it’d appeal to a broad demographic. :-)

      1. Yes. The basic line/color approach works elsewhere and would work here. I anticipate confusion for University Street vs. University of Washington. The UW was actually founded downtown and still owns property there, which is how University Street got its name… The downtown station could be renamed Seneca as there’s an exit there. Symphony is appealing too. Renaming Brooklyn as University District makes sense in a way, but that is begging for confusion.

        Many systems have a primary and a secondary name. The secondary name could be shown in a smaller font below the primary name on maps, signs, etc. to indicate the major cross street, e.g. Brooklyn (45th St.), Roosevelt (65th St.), etc.

        …and there goes another supply train through the Montlake tunnel. They’re not loud for me, but I hear them several times every day. It’s the sound of progress, but I really hope I don’t hear trains every 2 minutes when the system is running.

      2. Where on maps or signs in other cities is the word “Station” used? Only for mainline train stations like “King Street Station”. Perhaps on neighborhood wayfinding signs. But not on a metro station itself or aboard its trains. The station itself just has its name, and/or a symbol for the type of transit. The trains just say “Othello” or “Beacon Hill”, and it’s obvious that it’s Othello Station and not Othello something else.

        And why can’t they abbrevate “Tukwila International Boulevard” to “Tukwla Intl Bv” or whatever fits, to prevent it from scrolling. I think the purpose of the word “station” and the scrolling is to keep a close correspondence between the visual announcement and the verbal announcement for ADA, although even that is not exact because sometimes one has more details than the other.

      3. London Underground has “station” on the entrance sign (“Clapham Common Station”) facing the street and omits it on the platform signs (just “Clapham Common”).

      1. It’s funny how many blogs have copied this name.

        I used to say that the best part of starting STB for me is that now there’s a high-quality transit blog in Seattle and I don’t have to do any work.

  20. Hopefully they don’t end up with ridiculous names like:

    • U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo
    • Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center
    • Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter

    Resulting in this map.

    1. Maybe it would be good to make a policy decision now that station names can only have two distinguishing destinations.

      1. The criteria suggests limiting names to less than 30 characters. There are current offenders like International District/Chinatown and Tukwila International Boulevard.

      2. Would it be too odd to have names of stations at the end of Link lines to have names that don’t require the scrolling of the name on the destination sign? Just sayin’.

      3. So change ID/Chinatown to “King Street Station” — 19 characters even with the “Station”.

        There really is no substitute for the name “Tukwila International Boulevard”, is there. It’s shorter to say than it is to spell, at least.

      4. If you renamed the Sounder version to “Longacres” shortening TIB to “Tukwila” would be wonderfully concise.

  21. What about what London does? Name the lines after a major landmark that lies on the line and just have the colors for references?

    The East Link = Mercer Line (blue for reference and distinguish between other intersecting lines)

    Central Link = Center Line (red or turquoise for reference maybe)

    Ballard-WestSeattle via DSTT link = Elliot Line

    Future line from Ballard to Issaquah via UW, 520 bridge and downtown Bellevue = Cascade Line

  22. I think that the proper method is to use a color system combined with an alphanumeric label. I have traveled on many of the world’s top transit systems and this seems to be how it works on many of the most successful systems (NYC, London, DC, Mexico City, Boston, Sao Paulo, Santiago, the list goes on and on). The label is usually something such as Line 1 or can relate to the color such as R1 (red), G6 (green), or BL3 (blue). These systems make it easy for colorblind individuals to use and also allows branches of a single line to use the same color but different alphanumeric designators.

    What we don’t need is to try and be all creative. Seattle is extremely behind when it comes to the development of a rapid transit system and creativity has hindered us in some ways. I speak especially of the failed monorail system. We should be looking at the hundreds of amazing metro systems around the world and copy what they do right and avoid what they do wrong. I love that Seattle is a city of ideas and dreams but sometimes it hurts us more than it helps. Use a system that is tried and true and build it… if we have any significant problems then we can get creative.

  23. I got lost in some of the remarks, but has anyone suggested we need both for the color blind passengers…

  24. I don’t know about the lines, but a few suggestions about station names:

    Name the University Street Station the the “Benaroya Station”

    Name the Brooklyn Station the “University District Station”

      1. To expand on that, my suggestion for Brooklyn Station is above. Including the cross street gives better legibility; it’s a geographic indicator rather than some vague neighborhood name.

        For already existing stations, changing the name will just lead to more confusion.

      2. I agree on the U-district, but the University Street station name is confusing. I have seen many a tourist ask a bus driver “does this bus go to university?” only to hear a “yes” and be dropped off one stop later in downtown again.

      3. aw – I dunno. Humans can be pretty smart and adaptable if given a chance. I think you could change the existing names as long as it was to something more logical and consistent within the broader context of all the station names. Yes, there may be a few days/weeks of confusion, but it’s probably worth it for the many years of increases clarity/non-confusion you’d get in return…

    1. The more I think about it, we should rename “University Street Station” to “Madison Station”. That way Metro can reroute the #2 down Madison and folks won’t complain about the loss of “direct access” to that station. Hell, they might even agitate for the change themselves. :-)

      1. Even better would be a tunnel leading to a Madison Street entrance. Then it would really be on Madison, and you wouldn’t have to wait for the stoplights at the intersections. And it could have a moving walkway to make the walking less arduous.

        (All this is just mitigation for the fact that there should have been a Madison station in the first place, for the library and the Madison bus. And University Street stn should have been a couple blocks north at Union-Pike, for the Market.

    2. especially since we’ll have street name stations like S 200th St anyway (unless they call it Federal Detention Center station)

  25. By the way, something has been lost here in all the comments…isn’t the map EXCELLENT? Good job as always Oran. I would love to see that map with the Sounder lines, the Streetcar lines, the Monorail and the BRT lines all added to it, along with all the future lines for each mode.

    1. I agree … nice job Oran … BTW … would you mind posting the whole map instead of the truncated version up above? (i.e. including all the way down to S 200th st

  26. after discussing this topic with friends … we all agreed that using a letter, number of combination for the route is more efficient and clearer than a name … especially since names can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the area (i.e. tourists) …

    Colors should only be used to depict the route on maps, to distinguish one route from another … especially since they have no use to those who cannot see

    This would also work for displaying the route on the interior info display signs … kind of like OBS does in the buses (where it has the rt # and the current time when it isn’t displaying the next stop name)

    something like

    L1 Southbound 10:34AM or “C” Southbound 10:34AM

    Another question brought up was whether there was going to be some sort of clear indication whether the train stopped at the airport … which will be especially important at all stops north of IDS … and yes … I realize that it would indicate on a map which line goes to the airport … but people tend not to read maps (and they can get damaged/covered up by graffiti, etc … )

    One real question will be whether or not ST is planning on keeping the LRV fleets separate. This would be a bad idea in the sense that equipment could not easily be moved around when needed … but at the same time would solve many problems by allowing ST to actually change the outside appearance of the LRVs to reflect the line they are operating on.

    i.e. they could actually paint “RED LINE” on the sides of the “east link” LRVs … and BLUE LINE on the “central link” LRVS … along with some kind of SeaTac Airport Service logo (like the old JFK express “Train to the Plane” service that NYC had years ago)

    Same goes for how the interior strip maps work … if the LRVs are cross-fleeted … then the maps need to show both routes … and it would be even more important to have the route information displayed on the interior digital display signs like I mention above

    1. Why not do what they do in every single city I’ve been in around the world – put the universal “plane” symbol on the destination board along with the ultimate destination. The platform reader signs and announcements say “Next train U1 (Red Line, A Line, Central Line, whatever) to South 200th via Airport.” If the destination boards on the cars can’t do this, then get new ones. Much more efficient than painting cars, at any rate, especially since the bulk of the riders will be locals and will probably figure out the system as it concerns them within a day or so.

      Sometimes we overthink the hell out of everything in this city, when there are tried-and-true ways that work around the world, for locals and for large numbers of tourists at best unfamiliar with the local language.

      (also, try “UW-Montlake” and “UW-NE 45th” for station names–although “Brooklyn” works for me too–and that will be one of the most important stations once it’s the transfer station to the WS-Ballard-Wallingford-U Village-Lake City-Bothell line!)

    2. Do the exterior signs on Link trains support icons in addition to text? If so, you could put an airplane icon on those trains going to SeaTac (or just scroll “To/Via SeaTac Airport” on the exterior signs)

      1. I don’t know … but the problem will soon be that the SB Central Link trains will have S 200th St as their destination … with no mention of the airport. I have fielded enough questions from tourists about which train to take as it is (even with the reader boards saying SeaTac Airport Station) … Not even having the Airport mentioned on the display will make things even more confusing to those unfamiliar with Link and our city

  27. I like it! This will make it easy to distinguish between the lines once we have light rail running to West Seattle, Queen Anne, Fremont, Ballard, Wallingford, Lake City, Green Lake, Georgetown and out into the burbs.

    It’s a great time to be a Seattleite.

  28. Atlanta has a naming system I haven’t seen elsewhere. The current map doesn’t have it so maybe they’ve changed it recently, but the lines used to be named by direction: N-S, NW-S, E-W. The stations had a direction and number next to the name: “Civic Center N2”. The number was how many stops it was from the central transfer point (Five Point). So you could tell immediately how far the station was from the center, how many stops till your destination, and where the station would be on the map. The current map names the lines by color and drops the numbers, so maybe there were some problems with the system, but it did have some advantages.

  29. I think that patterns are great for naming things. Ideally, each line would be part of set. For example;

    Element Line (Central Link): Hydrogen Station, Helium Station, Lithium Station, Beryllium Station, etc.

    NATO Line (Bellevue Link): Alpha Station, Bravo Station, Charlie Station, Delta Station, etc.

    Countries Line (Tacoma Link): Andorra Station, Belgium Station, Czechoslovakia Station, Denmark Station, etc.

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