A core tenet of American democracy is at work, allowing We the People to have a say in the construction of our society’s fabric: Yes, we’re talking about naming Metro stations.
The West Falls Church station needs a name refresh, and a forthcoming station in the Potomac Yard area needs a name in general. So Metro has released a survey that riders can fill out with their own opinions. It will be up through November 20 at 5 PM. (It’s apparently a season of naming in the DC area—you can currently vote on a name for the National Zoo’s new panda cub, too.)
Metro is opening a new station on the blue and yellow lines come 2022. As it will sit in the Potomac Yard area between the National Airport and Braddock Road stations, Metro is proposing that it be called the Potomac Yard station. The West Falls Church name change is a little less exciting—it’s just soliciting user input as to whether the University of Virginia subtitle should be dropped from the station, as the school no longer operates a campus near there.
The survey also asks riders’ opinions on whether the future Potomac Yard station or the West Falls Church station should be listed with the Virginia Tech subtitle. It’s currently listed on the latter station, but Potomac Yard will technically be closer to Tech’s forthcoming Innovation Campus.
In the survey, Metro states its official policy on considering station names: A name must be relevant (ie. refer to a nearby landmark), brief (19 characters max), unique, and evocative. While the survey simply asks users to rate their approval of possible name changes, there are open forums for users to submit comments.
So if a hypothetical user wanted to submit a request for a truly evocative new station name—say, Mimi Montgomery Station—perhaps they could do it there. Hypothetically speaking, of course. After all, that kind of online agora is how we ended up with Boaty McBoatface.