Is naming these Sound Transit stations really that hard?

Mar 29, 2017, 4:46 PM
Sound Transit...
(File, KIRO 7 image)
(File, KIRO 7 image)

What’s in a name? That’s a question Sound Transit would like to answer and it’s putting it to locals to find out.

In an effort to aptly name the new light rail stations coming to the Lynnwood area, Sound Transit is running an online survey for residents to weigh in on. There are four station names up for grabs.

Related: Sound Transit board member concerned over lawmaker push back

Take the coming Lynnwood station, for example. The options provided by Sound Transit for the Lynnwood Transit Station are:

• Lynnwood
• Lynnwood Transit Station

Go ahead and take your time on that one. On one hand, “Lynnwood” is pretty straight forward. But what if riders are unaware that they are not only in Lynnwood but more specifically at a transit station? Aside from the tracks, that is.

It’s a tougher job than one may think. The transit agency initially received more than 650 suggestions for station names last November. Officials were able to narrow the options down to two to three for each station. The board will ultimately approve them this summer. The names are required to be brief, avoid confusion, and reflect the neighborhood / geographic location they are in.

After a few months of work, and all that whittling down, there are three other station names to consider:

NE 145th (in Shoreline)
• Jackson Park
• Ridgecrest
• Shoreline South

NE 185th (in Shoreline)
• North Shoreline
• Shoreline

Mountlake Terrace Transit Center
• Ballinger (nearby road)
• Mountlake Terrace

Despite already narrowing down the options, Sound Transit is still offering residents the ability to send in more suggestions for each station.

Of course, logic would dictate that you simply name the stations after where they are generally located — because that is the way stops and map locations have historically been titled. There is only one station in Mountlake Terrace, so naturally, it should be named just that. Or, because there are only two stations in Shoreline, titling them north and south would be the easiest for travelers.

And of course, it would also be logical to use a modern method for car tab pricing, instead of an outdated method that overcharges your constituents. That way, when they generously vote for your steep $53.8 billion transit package, you don’t immediately stomp all over the trust voters just gave you … and then explain it away by saying it was just easier that way.

But again, that would be logical.

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Is naming these Sound Transit stations really that hard?