Sound Transit

Sound Transit has an extremely short online survey about the name of the station provisionally known as Brooklyn.

Apparently “University District” “U District” now has the inside track. ST explains why:

You may be aware that the current light rail system includes the University Street Station located in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT), which serves what was the original UW campus. The extension of the Link system to Northgate creates a potential scenario in which the word “university” could be used in three different station names, which would likely create confusion to riders about landmarks and geographic locations. That is why the Sound Transit Board recently adopted updated station naming criteria that discourages using similar names or words that are in existing station names.

The proposed “U District Station” name represents the local neighborhood and reduces the use of “university” in multiple station names. We’ve also heard feedback that the existing University Street Station should be renamed to better represent its location. That decision involves King County Metro and we will talk with them about whether there might be a better name for that particular station. While we won’t have an answer to that question for some time, we propose to keep the University of Washington Station name because it makes sense being located on the UW campus.

I’ve personally always liked “Brooklyn,” ostensibly because it maximizes simplicity and diversity of station names, but probably really because of East Coast media bias.

145 Replies to “ST Station Name Survey”

  1. I like U Disrtict because it matches what people actually call the neighborhood. I can’t recall a time someone used Brooklyn to describe the area.

    1. Agreed. When was the last time someone told you “OK we’ll meet at that little restaurant on 45th in Brooklyn, near the bank”.

      1. Good point. What’s wrong with U-District and University Street? People aren’t that stupid.

      2. There are in London, for comparison, Finchley Road, Finchley Road & Frognal, Finchley Central, West Finchley, and East Finchley stations. Finchley Road is quite some distance from Finchley.

        However, this is not considered a terribly *desirable* state of affairs. Because people *are* kind of stupid when it comes to wayfinding and names. Truck drivers have been known to show up in Aurora, NY looking for East Aurora, NY (East Aurora is *130 miles to the west* by road from Aurora).

    2. U-District or University District makes the most sense- curious whether extra letters cost a huge amount of money.

      But maybe ST should take a leaf from Seattle history. Story is that Alki Point got its name from original settlement title of “New York Alki”, from the First Nations word meaning “In a little while.”

      In those days, New York City was the greatest thing anyplace could ever aspire to be, and in the art world, many think it still is.

      “Brooklyn Alki” might be a good cross-cultural historical and future-conscious subtitle. Might even be better to find the Suquamish word for “In ya dreams!”

      Mark Dublin

  2. You can’t really name this station “U-District Station” without renaming the station at Husky Stadium “Montlake Station.”

    I’m very partial to adding in cross-streets, because that orients riders to the grid. If I’m heading to a place in Wallingford with an address on 45th, then “Brooklyn-45th” or “U-District-45th” tells me I can make the connection there.

    1. This post actually adds to the confusion that ST is trying to avoid: “Apparently ‘University District’ now has the inside track.” — Uh…. no. ST proposes the name “U District” to avoid having three stations with the word *university,* but it doesn’t really work as the author shows.

      The name “UW Station” or “University of Washington Station” is more appropriate at Brooklyn because it -1) is more convenient than the Montlake station for students and staff going to central campus -2) describes the neighborhood -3) is across the street from the UW TOWER, the university’s corporate headquarters -4) allows the Montlake station to take the name of its nearest landmark, HUSKY STATION.

      1. Actually the station at Husky Stadium is closer to the majority of campus buildings than Brooklyn Station, and with the Montlake Triangle rebuild it will present a clear route to campus for arriving passengers.

      2. Here is an image showing the relative distances to each campus station. It shows that Red Square, the Quad, the dorms, the Law & Business Schools are closer to Brooklyn – and the HUB, Computer Science & EE, Forestry and the Medical Center are closer to Montlake. Distance-wise the stations are a toss-up. Convenience-wise Brooklyn is better for neighborhood amenities, thus it will be the major station for UW -> thus call it UW Station.

      3. As the crow flies, maybe. But people can’t fly. When exiting the Husky Stadium station it is immediately obvious where campus is, and it will be directly connected to campus via the footbridge. Plus the fact that it’s going to be open 5 to 6 years sooner.

        “Convenience-wise Brooklyn is better for neighborhood amenities”

        So name it after the neighborhood!

      4. Zed,

        Changing from Brooklyn to UW Station is naming it after the neighborhood.

        The problem is the repetitive UW – U District sequence; it doesn’t meet ST’s naming guidelines. Something has to change, and ST doesn’t like “Brooklyn.” Using Brooklyn is like calling the Capitol Hill Station, “Nagle Place.”

      5. I didn’t suggest calling the station Brooklyn Station, it should be U-District station, after the neighborhood that it serves.

      6. My heart agrees with you, Zed. U-District or University District Station is a great name. But my brain says -1) ST guidelines won’t allow “U-District” to follow “UW” at Montlake and -2) if Montlake changes to “Husky” then UW will want “University of Washington” at Brooklyn. Thus, the circular argument we’re having here (great for racking up blog comments though – well played STB!).

    2. Based on these criteria, call them U District – 45th and U District – Montlake (or U District – Husky Stadium). I’ll say this again: what happens when they build a third and fourth station on the Ballard-UW line? I can’t possibly imagine confusion if the station is actually called “U District” (the abbreviation).

      1. Don’t forget to add “Version 7 Home Edition Series” to each station name.

    3. That is a very good idea Sherwin. You could do it for all stations Roosevelt/65th, etc.

    4. How about for the pair “Hospital Station” and “University Way”, that avoids all the confusion over people saying they’re going to “The Ave” when if fact there is no University Avenue in Seattle. Or we could be really clear and call the first station “Rainier Vista” and to invoke the history of the neighborhood for the other station name it “Safeco Tower” :=

      1. You mean Whole Foods Station? It’s right next to Lake Bellevue so name is Bellevue Station. The one across the street should be Bellevue TC. Then people will associate it with a couplet just like Overlake and Overlake TC. Unversity St. Station serves Seattle University so to be logical it should be Seattl University Station. But “University” is a very confusing word and most people can’t even spell it so rename the bus tunnel station “Seattle Station”. That way tourist coming to town for the first time will have no problem knowing where to get off. TIB is always shortened to a TLA which is TDC! I say rename it 518/99 so everybody knows where it is.

    5. I absolutely respect your position Sherwin, but let’s not start naming stations with “Street” or “Avenue” in it. It’s so boring. It’s bad enough with S 200th, TIBS, and University Street. But, at least we don’t do the dashy crap that DC and NYC do. I don’t care that it makes it easier for tourists or out-of-towners. That usability aspect doesn’t add a heck of a lot. I’ve never had a problem with a place that didn’t. In fact, adding all that additional information just makes it more confusing. That’s what station maps and system brochures are for. Landmarks and neighborhoods are great. Or just simply one street name without all the added prefix and directional crap.

  3. I think there’s no other option than U-District station – it makes sense. That’s what the neighborhood is. The actual station on-campus needs to be “University of Washington” station, no question.

    The odd man out here is University Street, in the DSTT. I proposed several ideas: “Financial District”, “Downtown Arts District”, “Benaroya Station”, or simply “Downtown”. The simplest options would be “Union Street” or “Seneca Street”, the two adjacent cross-streets.

    1. It could be called “The Ave Station” even though it’s on Brooklyn and not the Ave.

      1. The thought had crossed my mind – but out of towners won’t know what “Ave” is being referred to…

      1. Union Street was a suggestion I gave SoundTransit in the survey they had online last week re: University Street / UW station naming confusion.

      2. I suggested Seneca Street Station on the survey, since the other entrance is on Seneca.

      3. Problem there is Union Station at IDS, which should just be Union Station. But we’ve been down that road before. Don’t offend the ID folks…

      4. Or you could go back to the original proposed name for International District Station: Chinatown.

        Or call it King Street, but that would require actually connecting it to King Street Station.

    2. One advantage of “Arts District” is we could keep naming stations after “districts”. The I-90 station East Link? Central District station, etc.

      1. Bellevue already has dibs on “Arts District” for the 130th St. P&R Station because there’s a ballet school nearby. If Central Link steals it we’ll have to change the name to Goff Creek P&R.

      1. Central Seattle is where you get off for Seattle Central CC; clear as mud. Downtown Seattle has promise. The reader board would say “DT Seattle / DSTT Station Station”. Financial District is no good; it would make people fearful of a collapse :=

  4. Why not University North (for Brooklyn) and University South (for Husky)? Or UW North / UW South?

    For reference, I’m thinking of the Picadilly Line in London with Hounslow East, Central, and West stations, or DC’s Orange Line with Falls Church and East Falls Church.

    1. If you are going to do that, why not “Northwest Campus Station” and “Southeast Campus Station”?

      1. Which campus? Northgate serves NSCC, Capitol Hill serves SCCC, the FHSC serves Seattle U.

    2. Having just been in DC, one thing we should desperately avoid is their tendency to give all of their stations 140 character names, since it felt like the conductor spent nearly the entire time traveling between stations just trying to spit out the entire name of the next stop, and the WMATA map is a serious jumble of text.

      I think there is something to be said for some redundancy in names to reiterate when you have multiple options for one area, but since half of the country doesn’t seem to understand ordinal directions, I would go with something more like “UW/Husky Stadium” and “UW/45th St” since people are more likely to know where those are in relation to one another.

  5. Naming the station “U District Station” doesn’t create confusion. It prevents it. The name “University Street Station” ought to go away, when ST has the opportunity to make it go away. (Though there are far more pressing issues with the tunnel for ST and Metro to negotiate, such as banning cash boardings and getting rid of the ridiculously counterproductive, and money-losing, ORCA card fee.)

    1. “U District Station” does create confusion, as shown in the author’s slip to “University District Station,” which is exactly the thing ST is trying to avoid: repeating the word *university.*

      1. ST is trying to avoid repetitive names. I’m trying to avoid getting newer riders lost.

    2. Have you ever heard anyone say “University District”? It’s strictly less confusing than “Tukwila/International Blvd”/”International District/Chinatown,” and also much shorter.

      1. Have you ever heard anyone say “University District”?

        Uh, yes, all the time.

    3. I am coming around to the U-District name, and I’m not completely sure we need to change the name of the University Street station. People aren’t so dumb to get confused by that. It is silly, though.

    4. Totally agree about renaming the “University Street Station” downtown. It should be called “Seneca Street Station” since that cross street is at the south entrance/exit to the station. The colloquial expression U-District gives support to naming the station previously designated Brooklyn as the “U District Station”, though I also like clear reference to major cross-streets. Maybe “U District/45th St. Station” for this location.

      The landmark to note for the station at the SE corner of campus is not Husky Stadium but the Medical Center. The Med Center generates trips nearly every day of the year, not just a few dozen event days. So, instead of “University of Washington Station”, I recommend “UW Medical Center Station”. Serves the UW right to not designate the entire university in the station name after the administration pushed the station to the east side of Montlake Blvd.

      One more name change in the system: eliminate “Stadium” for the station between IDS and Sodo, and rename it “Royal Brougham”. The cross street is Royal Brougham Way, and the name of that famous Seattle scribe is synonymous with sports in Seattle. Don’t want confusion with Husky Stadium, either!

  6. Personally for U-link and North link I like the following for station names:
    Monlake (or Pacific)

    1. They should have done this for all the stations, from Rainier beach on up.

      1. When you don’t have a prominent landmark, a PAIR of street names for an intersection is an EXCELLENT way to name a station.

        Landmarks are better though. “Husky” is really the best name for the station by the Montlake Cut.

      2. The neighborhood center IS the landmark. People want to know how to get to Beacon Hill or Columbia City etc. They may not know what Myrtle Street or Lander Street or 43rd Street means. But they know that, “Duh, this is the station for Columbia City”, even if it misses the center by a few blocks. The neighborhood and its transit station go together and build on each other. That doesn’t happen with “43rd Street” station where 43rd Street is just this small street that happens to go on one side of the entrance. You can have street names as a subheading after the station name.

      3. I’d add that in general most people remember names much better than numbers. Phone “numbers” were easier they the prefix had a name, TUcker5, JUniper8, etc. It also told you, back in the era of POTS what area the person you were calling was in. It doesn’t really matter what you call a station as long as it’s easy to remember, not confused with other name and doesn’t change. University Street is in the DSTT. We all should by now know that. Rainier should not be used for East Link. There’s a good argument that Rainier Beach was a poor choice but what’s done is done. Brooklyn is a great name because it’s easy to remember and precisely because it doesn’t have a preconceived notion about what sub-area of the U-District it applies to. University or UW for that same reason should not be in either station name. I’m fine with Montlake for the station at Montlake; you know, the one next to the Montlake Bridge where Montlake Ave crosses over the Montlake Cut; even if the City official neighborhood boundaries put this in the University District.

      4. I agree entirely with Bernie. I’d add that it almost doesn’t matter what the neighborhood name is now, because in 30 years the station name will be how people know the neighborhood – unless ST awards unwieldy or repetitive names.

  7. TriMet’s MAX Blue Line has three stations with “Beaverton” in the title. Does that confuse people taking the train to Beaverton? Presumably a lot of the riders to the U District Station will be students and college employees, so I think it’s ironic that ST feels it needs to shorten University to U because riders will become confused. I think that says a lot about the state of higher education in America when university students become confused because two station names have the same word in the title.

    1. And we already have Overlake Village and Overlake Transit Center, Issaquah and Issaquah HIghlands. Confusing much?

      1. Overlake Transit Center needs to get that word “Overlake” out of its name. Overlake is Overlake Village.

    2. In chicago they have like five stations named “california” and another five named “western”, including two stations named “Western” on the blue line. Trust me, it is confusing to the noob.

      1. Chicago’s “system” is awful. They name stations after cross streets *without* the other street.

        This worked out OK when they named lines according to the street they ran on (“Go to Western on the Congress line”) but since they formed the colored lines it’s a disaster, with as you say, two “Western” stations on the Blue Line alone.

        “Western & Congress” would be OK. This may actually account why the old, pre-color line names hang around; you have to distinguish between “Western on the Congress Line” and “Western on the O’Hare Line” (since both lines are part of the “Blue Line”).

      2. Chicago is inconsistent, actually. The main signs have just the one street name, but the onboard announcement on the Blue Line north says “X and Milwaukie”, as if to distinguish from the other X station. There may also be some small, old signs in the stations that say “X & Milwaukie”; I don’t remember for sure.

    3. However, all of those have something to do witha Beaverton, which is not the case with University Street, which does not have anything to do (except historically) with a University.

  8. God, this shouldn’t be so hard. Lots of good suggestions. ST needs to take some leadership here and choose a naming scheme that makes sense for the long run. I like the idea of cross streets, but I think the name should be as such:

    Benaroya Hall Station-University Street

    UW Husky Stadium-NE Pacific Street (or Montlake)

    University District-NE 45th Street

    1. There’s a problem with naming the station after benaroya hall, as it violates ST’s guidelines around commercial names.

      1. I think Husky Station runs afoul of the same guidelines. Husky Football is very protective of it’s trademark/copyright property.

      2. While they can trademark a design such as the purple W etc., the name husky can’t really be reserved because it is so much in use elsewhere. For example, the University of Connecticut Huskies.

      3. The UW is not a private commercial organization (it’s owned by the state).

        I am not quite sure I understand why everyone wants to name it after the symphony. It’s just as close to SAM, for example. Why not Museum station? I actually go to the symphony several times a year, but with the rich people who patronise that organization, it’s not the sort of charity that needs a special boost in reputation.

      4. Actually, aren’t they planning on selling the husky stadium naming rights? So it might not even be called “husky stadium” for very long.

      5. “Symphony” is a more descriptive name than “Benaroya” anyway, and runs afoul of nothing.

        The symphony is directly on top of the station, so no, it is not “just as close to SAM”.

        [comments policy]

      6. Sure, but there’s an entrance station right next to SAM.

        Why not name it Benaroya station after Jack Benaroya? That’s still pretty clear and doesn’t give free publicity to a private organization.

      7. I use the “Benaroya basement” entrance all the time, and it’s a bit of a stretch to call it “right next to SAM”.

        The old SAM building has a now-permanently-closed rear door within view (i.e. down many stairs and across the street), but you’d still better know where you’re going if you want to get from the station to any museum door that’s actually in use.

      8. Anyway, the point is that the symphony hall, formal name or not, is a prominent, centrally located landmark that sits directly atop the station and can’t be missed.

        Transit nomenclature should be an exercise in stating the obvious: “You know that place? That’s where the station is.”

      9. Transit nomenclature should be an exercise in stating the obvious: “You know that place? That’s where the station is.”

        Which is why they put the Columbia City station where it is, along with the pioneer square station and the Rainier Beach station. Yeah?

        Whatever, tell them you want that name. I don’t think you’ll get it.

      10. Which is why they put the Columbia City station where it is, along with the pioneer square station and the Rainier Beach station. Yeah?

        Indeed. Because Seattle transit agencies have done routing, station design, and nomenclature impeccably up to this point.

      11. I really don’t think your point makes sense. I don’t know how many people think of the area around that station and imagine the symphony. I’m not even sure how many people see the building and think of the symphony.

        That building isn’t the symphony building, its benaroya hall. Of the four times I’ve performed there, only one was with an orchestra, and that wasn’t even the Seattle Symphony (the other performances were all jazz). The most famous performance for the building was by Pearl Jam.

        Look who they have coming this summer: Ira Glass, SRJO, video games, etc.

        Anyway, Benaroya is a better name than Symphony.

      12. “Actually, aren’t they planning on selling the husky stadium naming rights? So it might not even be called “husky stadium” for very long.”

        All the more reason to name the station “Husky Stadium”. Then when the Stadium becomes “Enron Stadium” or “Lehman Brothers Stadium” or whatever, but the locals still call it “Husky Stadium”, locals can still tell visitors to “go to Husky Stadium”, and the visitors will find “Husky Stadium” on the map…. as a Link station. :-)

      13. “If Husky Stadium station is an option, I want Stadium to be Safeco Field or Mariners station.”

        Mariners seems reasonable, but surely in this case Royal Brougham would be the name which is *least likely* to ever conflict with any other name, and also quite unlikely to change or go away?

      14. Actually, aren’t they planning on selling the husky stadium naming rights?

        That it! Settle this whole flap with the open market solution. All Link stations sold to the highest bidder.

      15. I look forward to the inevitable Boeing station (TIBS), Microsoft station (Overlake), Starbucks station (SODO), and Amazon station (Westlake).

  9. When I read or say “U District,” my brain fills in the first word. So I think that doesn’t clear up the confusion. Depending upon your definition of the neighborhood, either station could be “U District,” so that name doesn’t really tell you much.

    I like using cross streets, with the named street as shorthand, whenever possible. So, “Brooklyn/45th Station,” or Brooklyn Station for short. “Montlake Boulevard/Pacific Station” then follows, though for simplicity maybe we should just go with “Husky Stadium Station” or “UW Medical Center Station.” Because the street name downtown has “University” in it, we should make an exception in that case and call it “Benaroya Hall Station” to avoid confusion.

    I could also accept a system that put UW in both U District station names with the most well-known cross street, as already suggested: “UW/45th” and “UW/Montlake.” That would have the virtue of being short. And “UW” in this case fills the role of a cross street as it’s pretty unambiguous where the station is in both cases. I guess “UW/45th” might conjure up 15th & 45th to someone who didn’t know, but that’s only two blocks away. In this shortened scheme, the downtown station could be “Benaroya/3rd” or just “Benaroya.”

    I filled in the survey already, though with slightly different suggestions. But my main point is that “University” shouldn’t be in any of the station names.

    1. “But my main point is that “University” shouldn’t be in any of the station names.” Why not?

      1. What’s wrong with University in the names as long as it’s clear they are different? People aren’t so stupid they will confuse these stations.

      2. No, people are all very confused. In order to keep it simple all stations must have either University or Rainier in them so that people know they are on Link and not MAX.

      1. Husky stadium which would have usage 6 times a year at most ( home games ) vs. UW Medical Center which is a large employment center w/ daily traffic…

        How about the William Gerberding Memorial Station?

      2. What’s with people suggesting names that aren’t iconic, that only locals and people going to those specific destinations would know? Benaroya for U-Street, UWMC for UW station… remember, this system is at least partly for tourists.

  10. University St. Station is actually quite well-named as its entrances are generally on or near University St. The Westlake station is not on Westlake Avenue and most of its entrances are on Pine Street. Pioneer Square Station is not in Pioneer Square by any stretch of the imagination. There are, gasp!, two staitons with “International” in their name; I’m sure hundreds of tourists get off at Tukwila International Blvd. Station thinking they will grab a quick sandwich at Uwajimaya. And people must carry their climbing gear to Mt. Baker station a lot.

    Seriously, the confusion about University St. began a century ago when the University of Washington moved from the Metropolitan Tract. Oddly, it is rather convenient to Seattle University if you like to walk uphill. But if someone travelling to the UW is so incurious about the proper stop as to assume “University St.” is the right destination, despite signage, maps, GPS and the ability to ask people directions, I don’t think my tax money should be going to correct such a person. University St. is just fine.

    1. “Pioneer Square Station is not in Pioneer Square by any stretch of the imagination.”

      Um, what? I’m pretty sure most people define Pioneer Square as extending at least a block north of Yesler and at least as far as 4th. The buildings across the street from the Cherry St entrance pretty much scream “Pioneer Square” to me (as Pioneer Square to me evokes a certain old-timey architectural style); I define Pioneer Square as ending right at Cherry across downtown with exceptions for the civic buildings.

      “Oddly, it is rather convenient to Seattle University if you like to walk uphill.”

      I have maybe once in all my time at SU walked up Seneca from 3rd all the way to SU and that might have been in a snowstorm. If I miss the 2 from the stop at the library, I’m walking down to Marion to catch the 12. I say this as someone who might be a little more prone to walking than most people, though admittedly I don’t like hills as steep as Downtown and First Hill can be.

      My problem with U-Street isn’t that people might think it’s the stop for the University of Washington, it’s that it’s such an uncreative and nondescriptive name, especially compared to the rest of the system. Othello and Tukwila/International Boulevard are the only other stops named after cross streets, and Tukwila is also named after the city and Othello is trying to give a new name to the neighborhood. U-Street is a legacy name from the transit tunnel and it wasn’t a great name then either. Let’s give it a name more worthy of our rapid transit system.

      1. Tell you what, ask anyone at the courthouse if they’re in Pioneer Square sometime.

      2. I don’t talk to people in person much, but I’d be very, very surprised if I got a lot of no’s.

        Where do you define Pioneer Square?

    1. U District/NE 45th
      UW Medical Center
      University Street > Seneca Street
      Stadium > Royal Brougham

      (modified vote)

  11. I wish Link would delete the word “station” from the names of the station and the announcements and the scrolling text. Everyone knows it stops at stations. Then the signs could read “Westlake” and “Seatac” (or “Seatac Airport”) and they wouldn’t have the scroll. The announcements could be: “Next stop Columbia City”. The word “station” is simply redundant.

      1. What? No flag stops? I thought this was a Western Railroad? Next thing there will be no cow catcher on the front

    1. add to that … the OBS announcements … Broadway IS NOT Broadway Avenue … it is just Broadway. (as heard in the 9/60/49 w/OBS)

      1. I took the 9 from end-to-end last month for a school project and I don’t think I ever heard “Broadway Avenue”. Although, although most 9s are OBS-equipped, I don’t remember if that one was. But I don’t think I’ve heard an OBS-equipped 9 add the “Avenue” to the stops at Terrace or Columbia, so what stops are you referring to?

    2. Indeed, the word “station” is very clearly redundant in station names. They seriously say it for every station? Wow.

  12. These conversations are always hilarious. Why the absolute obsession with cramming as many streets/locations into one station name as possible? To avoid confusion? For whom?

    Has anyone ever ridden the CTA? They use street names and street intersections for their stations and it makes no sense. If you want to go to Wrigley Field you get off at Addison. Say what?

    If you’re from out of town, most times you’ll do a little research to know where you’re supposed to go. And once you know the stop you need – you remember it. Stop trying to reward stupidity on a transit system that will have fewer than 25 stops, in very different locations.

    Everyone just relax: U District station makes sense. No one refers to the Montlake area (medical center/Husky stadium/Montlake Ave) as the U District, which is usually considered I-5 to the 45th Viaduct and north to Ravenna. Even the houses on both sides of the Montlake Bridge are referred to as Montlake, not the U District.

    Name the stations for the locals – and not for the tourists.

    1. Agreed, though certainly Brooklyn and the Ave. are the U District all the way to Campus Parkway.

      1. Well of course – I didn’t want to over explain, which is why I referenced I-5 as the western boundary of the U District.

        It’s about context and most people from out of town or who recently moved to the area will have no context in regards to station names. Initially. Then after one trip, it will make sense.

    2. Chicago is not a good model to follow. (“Western”, “Western”, “Western”, “Western”, and “Western” stations, on the Brown, Blue, Blue, Pink, and Orange Lines respectively. They range from 4800 N to 4700 S. Four are handicapped-accessible, one is not.)

      Neither is DC a model to follow. (New York Ave–Florida Ave–Gallaudet University — that’s one station. Though its name is being changed right now to something shorter.)

      Somewhere in between the two is good. Every station name should be unique, and similar names should reflect stations which are close together. Landmarks if possible, single streets if they’re short and distinctive, intersections if they’re not. This isn’t that hard.

      1. Neighborhoods are almost as good as landmarks, but only if the neighborhoods are small. Otherwise you end up with neighborhood + modifier, which is only OK.

        Landmarks are really ideal for station naming. London has some stations named after landmarks which are gone now, and nobody cares, the district is still named after the former landmark.

    3. I agree. The best thing that can be done is to come up with names that are fairly short and distinctive. It really doesn’t matter if it makes no sense to the folks from out of town. I took the subway quite a bit in Montreal, and like every tourist, I looked at a map before getting on. The weirdest one was when I wanted to get out to Olympic Stadium. The nearest station is Pie-IX. I had no idea what it meant, but I knew that was the station for me, and I had no trouble getting off at the right stop. I thought it might have something to do with the Olympics (the 9th Olympic games, that doesn’t sound right?) but it was the area, named after the Pope (I had to look it up). I’m sure it made sense to the locals.

      With that in mind:

      1) Husky Stadium
      2) U-District

      This is really easy for locals and tourists alike. You don’t have to know what they mean, but it isn’t hard to figure out. If I was from out of town, it would take me thirty seconds to figure out that U-District stands for University of Washington district and Husky Stadium stands for University of Washington Husky football stadium. Both are quite visible on most maps (including Google Maps).

      1. Indeed. My only concern is that Husky Stadium station will be confusing only because of the “other” Stadium Station. I wouldn’t be confused but apparently from the comments that are generated by these discussions, people are really stupid and easily confused.

        Personally I prefer Montlake Station – but there seems to be a lot of pushback. It’s on Montlake Ave near the Montlake Neighborhood and the Montlake Bridge: seems pretty self-explanatory.

        Complaints are that it’s not descriptive enough or would be named after a geographic area that is too large. That makes me laugh as there will be a Capitol Hill Station – and that is a huge area.

        No one will ever be happy :)

  13. Whatever ends up as the name it shouldn’t be Brooklyn…no one, ever, has called that neighborhood Brooklyn with me around.

    1. How about “East Coast Envy Station?” maybe to complement the “San Francisco Inferiority Complex Station” and “Gosh, we love Chicago station”

    2. Name it after the avenue, not the neighborhood. Add a cross street and you’re set.

    3. If I was trying to get to your house would you tell me to go to the U District… or would you say the street name that it’s on, so I could actually find it? The station will be on Brooklyn Ave.

      1. The light rail station will influence how we do wayfinding in this city. One day, you might tell someone to go to the U-District to go to your house there. What’s more, they’ll understand you and find the place without a hitch.

  14. Good -now all they need to do is to rename the misnomer ‘University of Washington Station’ to ‘Husky Stadium Station’ and all would be well.

    1. How is that a misnomer? The main campus will be directly connected to the station and the medical center across the street contains 1/4 of the UW’s total space all by itself, not to mention the IMA, Hec Ed, Husky Stadium…

      1. You answered your own question when you brought up how much space UWMC takes up. Read Montlaker’s posts from earlier in the thread.

      2. So the medical center isn’t part of the University of Washington? I don’t understand the attitude that the station at Husky stadium doesn’t serve the main campus because it doesn’t drop you directly into a seat in Kane Hall. By that reasoning Brooklyn Station certainly shouldn’t be named “UW Station” as Montlaker suggested.

  15. I would have named it “One more stop until you get to Bengal Tiger!”, but I guess that is a little wordy.

  16. As mentioned when this came up last week, I’m all for either the simple street grid info or pairing the neighborhood with a street. The neighborhood is too large not to bother orienting riders within it.

    “U-District/Brooklyn” or “U-District/45th” or “Brooklyn/45th.”

    And I’ll go to bat for the Chicago system. Hosted dozens and dozens of out-of-towners in 30+ years there, provided directions to countless more, and never saw anyone confused by the fact that there are multiple stations with the same street name.

    CTA does sometimes provide destination or neighborhood information, as in “Sox-35th,” “Chinatown-Cermak,” and “Library/State & Van Buren.” More importantly, there are always exact street grid coordinates on the station sign, which is really all you need given Chicago’s graceful numbering system.

  17. And a hearty second on killing the “station” convention double-dead. Redundant and wasteful.

  18. If you showed a group of special needs 1st graders a map, and pointed out something called University of Washington Station at one location, and then pointed out University District Station at another location on the map, and then asked them, if they are the same thing or different, I’m pretty sure there would be no confusion among the kids, and all of them would say they are two completely different things.

    Then why would adults riding Link get confused?

    1. Yeah exactly. Add University Street in to. People aren’t so dumb they can’t figure it out.

  19. They’ve already decided (I noticed earlier today), but what the heck, my opinion was/is: I agree with the notions that it should have “UW” in the name as well as “45th.” While I agree that the area is definitely the “U-District,” it’s more compelling to (no pun intended) link the name to the biggest destination. I also think that Sherwin makes an excellent point. My preference would be “UW at 45th Street Station” and I’m okay with “Montlake Station” or “Husky Stadium Station” or “UW Medical Center Station” for the other one. As for the downtown station, I like “Benaroya Station,” for I don’t think that area has ever been established as an arts or financial area. Perhaps they should rename “University Street” to something else, then could put that in the name, although that would make for a long name.

  20. I think the downtown University station should be renamed Symphony Station. I have had to explain to many confused tourists over the years that the University of Washington is nowhere near that station.

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