Though Metro last spring came up with names for the new Silver Line stations in Fairfax County that will run through Tysons and out to Dulles,
they were all duds. Geographically relevant, maybe. But distinctive, interesting, aware of Northern Virginia’s fascinating history? Hardly.
Now Metro is seeking the public’s input on the Silver Line station names. Here are the names previously approved, and what they SHOULD be:
Tysons-McLean SHOULD be The Tysons Tunnel Memorial Station
Tysons I & II — The Davis-Wolf Station
Tysons Central — The Dave Grohl Station
Tysons-Spring Hill — The Shouse Wolf Trap Station
Reston-Wiehle Ave. — The Bob Simon Station
Reston Town Center — The Grant Hill Station
Herndon-Reston West — The Smith-Rust Station
Herndon-Dulles East — The Eero Saarinen Station
The proposed station names here recognize that Northern Virginia isn’t just a bunch of cul de sacs and strip malls. Well, it is, but a lot of cool stuff has happened in those cul de sacs and strip malls. And each station on the proposed Silver Line to Dulles should have location-specific historic resonance, to teach our children well, and all that.
Metro has posted a survey seeking suggestions, and wants names that are relevant, brief, unique and evocative. “Brief” as in 19 characters. All of the stations below fit that. Their lame suggestions are listed, but write-ins are an option, so feel free to submit any of these. I realize most Metro stations have specific geographic relevance, so you know where you are, but most riders don’t know what half those names mean, and what are those big maps for anyway? So why not educate the people with....
The Tysons Tunnel Memorial Station — To commemorate the sad passing of the idea that the rail line should have run BENEATH the gigantic shopping malls and congested highways, rather than ABOVE
them. Lack of money and federal intransigence spelled doom for the Tysons tunnel.
The Davis-Wolf Station — Reps. Tom Davis and Frank Wolf fought fiercely in Congress, for many years, for the funding to move Northern Virginia, and the District, into the modern era by having a rail line actually run to the international airport. Visionary! Amazing! Or common sense, like every other city with rail and an airport. Other stalwarts probably deserve credit (Kate Hanley? Gerry Connolly?) but “Davis-Wolf” sounds cooler.
The Dave Grohl Station — Springfield’s own Dave Grohl is the greatest rock musician ever to emerge from Northern Virginia. (Some would argue Jim Morrison, but he really didn’t live here for long.) He was the drummer for Nirvana, and the Foo Fighters are now, arguably, the greatest American rock band. (Five Grammys, son!) No doubt Grohl spent some time in Tysons in his youth, and his musical accomplishments merit this great honor.
The Shouse Wolf Trap Station — This is about as close as the train will get to Wolf Trap, a Northern Virginia treasure created by the generosity of Catherine Filene Shouse. She donated the land and the amphitheater to the National Park Service, then renovated and donated two 18th Century barns to create The Barns at Wolf Trap. A no-brainer.
The Bob Simon Station — He bought, designed and created Reston. He even named it after himself. He still lives there. There was a statue built in his honor, but it’s sitting down on a bench near Lake Anne, and mainly serves to freak out unsuspecting people at night. He envisioned Reston as “green” before anyone ever used that word that way. He deserves his own Metro station.
The Grant Hill Station — Reston’s Grant Hill is possibly the greatest professional athlete ever from Northern Virginia. (Possibly David Robinson fromManassas, but there’s no Metro there.) Stud basketball star at South Lakes High, two-time national champion at Duke, seven-time NBA all-star. Still playing at age 56 (inside joke for hoops junkies). Statistically, his first six NBA seasons were matched only by Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and LeBron James. You could look it up.
The Smith-Rust Station — Any kid who ever got near a ball for about 40 years in Herndon knew or was coached by Haley Smith, who was also on the Town Council. Tom Rust was mayor of Herndon for 19 years, also served on the town council, has been a state delegate since 2002 and has been on numerous boards and commissions. Two of Herndon’s institutions. Besides Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern.
The Eero Saarinen Station — Everyone knows the architect Saarinen designed the soaring glass structure at Dulles International Airport. And it’s becoming more apparent that the new Metro stations will probably obscure the breathtaking sight of seeing Dulles as you drive toward it. Naming the station after him will take us all back to those lazy, hazy days of 2012, when you could still see the airport as you crested the hill at Route 28.
Got a better idea? Post it in the comments.
(Here’s a map of the proposed stations.)