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Riders Tell Metro: Shorten Station Names!

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The names of some Metro stations - like this one - have grown excessively long, riders say.
Flickr.com user Travlr
The names of some Metro stations - like this one - have grown excessively long, riders say.

At a Metro focus group, a facilitator asks randomly selected riders what they think of the current station names. The riders give their opinions, and then the facilitator repeats them back. One complaint crops up so often that the facilitator begins to sound like a broken record.

"Uh huh, they're long," says one facilitator. "They're very long. On the shorter side of things? Uh huh. Too long."

In some riders' opinions, one of the worst ones is the U Street-African American Civil War Memorial-Cardozo stop.

Riders also say landmarks should not be included in the name of a station, unless the site is within walking distance

"Like if I'm a mother with two kids and a stroller, and I can't get there easily, don't put it in the title," says one rider.

Another poorly names station: Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan.

"Oh yeah!" exclaims another rider. "That's the worst."

"I feel sorry for people who think they're going to be in Adams Morgan when they get off there," chimes in another rider.

Metro says it wants to use the public's opinions in shaping its new station names and, by extension, its new identity.

But what riders want is often at odds with what the neighborhoods around the stations want, especially neighborhood businesses, which see station names as a marketing tool.

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