Sensible METRO Station Names February 25th, 2010
Proposed METRO Rail Station Name Changes.
|METRO Red Line|
Transit systems in every city in America and across the world have stations named for landmarks, to help visitors and residents find their way. If Washington DC named their stations the way the Phoenix stations are named, they would have a station called â€œ12th Street and Independence Avenue SWâ€ instead of â€œSmithsonian.â€
Phoenix’s Metro, for unknown political reasons, has utterly failed to name their train stations. Stations need proper names to establish a sense of place, foster community pride, and make the system easy to talk about.
I served as a volunteer on opening day. On that day and ever since, tourists have asked me what station the Airport is at, and does the train go to Sun Devil Stadium? Even Congressman and former Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell didn’t know what â€œVeterans Way and College Avenueâ€ was â€“ it needs to be the Sun Devil Transit Center. Worringly, Metro has issued safety alerts about the “Tempe Transportation Center” but without explaining that is the same as theÂ “Veterans Way and College Avenue” station.Â Two different names for the same station! The same problem exists with Central Station, the downtown bus terminal, which also has the redundant train station name of “Van Buren and Central Avenue.”
Short, simple station names help riders find their destinations quickly. They help tourists know what is along the line. They make maps easier to read. Stations become sources of neighborhood identity. Naming stations after street addresses is cold, confusing and unhelpful. When riding the #17 bus, the announcements say, “Approaching 16th Street” and “Approaching 24th Street” — not “Approaching 16th Street and McDowell” and then “Approaching 24th Street and McDowell” — the McDowell part is obvious because that’s the bus you are on. Repeatedly saying “…and Central” on the train is silly and pedantic.
Worse, announcements talk about eastbound and westbound trains, but the platforms are not signed that way, unlike other transit systems. Nor do Metro’s maps point out east and west (it is not obvious to everyone.)
Furthermore, the stations with two platforms need to be named as one station. Signs there should be updated to, for example, “For Dobson, use platform on 1st Avenue.” Boston eliminated confusing one-way station names (Milk one way, Water the other) in the 1960s.
These station names must be changed as soon as possible.
Even more bizarrely, scrolling signs on the platforms read “Thank you for riding Metro” while on the trains they read “Thank you for riding the Metro” — pick one, folks!Â And “light rail” is an adjective — METRO is a light rail line operating light rail vehicles to light rail platforms.Â You do not ride “the light rail” any more than you ride “the diesel.” The rails sit firmly in the streets.Â METRO trains are trolleys, just like in San Diego.Â Or “trams” to use the British word, but “trolley” is simpler and historically correct to Phoenix.
The entire line should then resume the Red Line name, as it replaced the (pre-metro) Red Line bus… and before that, the Washington Street #1 streetcars which carried red marker lights since the 1920s at least… giving the Red Line an eighty-plus year history. As other lines are built, they should resume the color line names (Green Line on Thomas — not Highway 10!, Blue Line northeast on Highway 51, etc.)
– William Lindley, Arizona Rail Passenger Association. 2010-02-25.
|Easy Name||Current, Long, Unhelpful Name|
|Bethany / Chris-Town||Montebello & 19th Avenue (Montebello is a one-block long residential street, not on most maps)|
|19th Ave & Camelback||(No change yet, pending neighborhood development)|
|Melrose||7th Ave & Camelback Road (Melrose District)|
|Uptown||Central & Camelback Road (Uptown Plaza, area is known as Uptown)|
|Central High||Campbell & Central Avenue (also for Brophy, Xavier, etc. Also, “Campbell” sounds too much like “Camelback” on announcements)|
|Indian School||Indian School & Central (Indian School Steele Park)|
|Park Central||Osborn & Central Avenue (Park Central Mall)|
|Midtown||Thomas & Central Avenue (area is known as Midtown)|
|Heard Museum||Encanto & Central Avenue (Encanto is only on one side of Central, and dead-ends a block away)|
|Library||McDowell & Central Avenue (Central Library)|
|Cathedral||Roosevelt & Central Avenue (adjacent historic Trinity Cathedral)|
|Central Station||Van Buren & Central & 1st Avenue (surrounding Central Station bus terminal!)|
|City Hall||Jefferson Street and Central Avenue and Washington Street and First Avenue
This is now the longest named railway station in the world, surpassing the Welsh one!
|Convention Center||3d Street and Washington Street and 3d Street and Jefferson Street|
|Eastlake / 12th Street||12th St. & Washington and 12th St. & Jefferson|
|24th Street||24th St. & Washington and 24th St. & Jefferson|
|GateWay||38th St. & Washington & Jefferson (Gateway C.C.)|
|Airport||44th St. & Washington & Jefferson (Airport buses/tram)|
|Papago Park||Priest Drive & Washington (Papago Park, Phoenix Zoo)|
|Mill||Mill Ave & 3d Street
(3d Street is only one block long! – adjacent to the Hayden Flour Mill)
|Sun Devil||Veterans Way & College Avenue (Stadium is on all maps)|
|University||University Drive & Rural Road (ASU main campus)
Station platforms are a block away from that intersection
|Dorsey||Dorsey & Apache Boulevard|
|McClintock||McClintock & Apache Boulevard|
|Smith-Martin||Smith-Martin & Apache Boulevard|
|Loop 101-Price||Price-â€101 Freewayâ€ & Apache (Misnames Route 101 as “101 Freeway”? Loop Route 101′s rarely-used name may be “Price Freeway” but “101 Freeway” is just awkward and incorrect)|
|Dobson||Longmore & Main Street (Longmore is a one-block long residential street not on most maps; station is only a block away from major road Dobson)|
2010 Membership Breakfasts February 4th, 2010
|March 6, 2010|
|9:00 am||to||11:00 am|
First Saturday morning of each month…
Join fellow ARPA members and friends for informal train talk and fun.
Cooked-to-order American breakfasts available at great prices.
At the Athenian Express, 814 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004… one block south of the Roosevelt METRO station.