The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has recommended a new set of names for the eight new Metrorail stations that will be opening in the county over the next few years as part of the Silver Line.
The new proposed names are, from east to west: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East, Reston Town Center, Herndon and Innovation Center.
“This is not a trivial exercise of naming stations and I think we’ve come up with some really good ones here,” said Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee).
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board rejected the county’s first set of station name proposals because they were too similar. The first proposal included four stations with the name “Tysons” in them and three that included “Reston.”
Fairfax County and Metro then conducted an online survey that garnered more than 16,000 responses. County staff used the survey results to propose new names that they say both have public support and meet Metro’s station naming criteria.
Metro says that station names must be relevant to the surrounding area, brief, unique among station names and evocative, evoking imagery in the mind of the patron.
“What the policy wants us to do is to find a name that helps the rider arrive at the right station,” said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill).
Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) said she had some concerns that the proposed name Greensboro Park was not clear enough, because it refers to a nearby office campus that is slated for redevelopment.
“We know what Tysons is going to become, and some of these names reflect what Tysons has been, which is an office park,” Smyth said. She suggested naming the station after nearby roads, Westpark and Gosnell, but her motion failed. The board ultimately compromised and selected the name “Greensboro.”
Other supervisors said they believe the station names will help guide the names of new developments in Tysons as it redevelops because property owners will want people to know that it is located near a certain Metro station.
The WMATA board still gets the final say on the station names later this year.