So what’s in a name? A lot, it seems, especially when it comes to naming a new Metro station. Fairfax County officials on Tuesday approved monikers for stations on the rail extension to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.
But the Board of Supervisors’ decision followed a spirited debate, even after a comprehensive public input process that vetted dozens of names.
Final names for the stations require approval from Metro’s Board of Directors. Four stations in Tysons Corner and one in Reston are scheduled to open in late 2013. The rest of the 23-mile line is tentatively slated to open by 2016 and will extend to Route 772 in Loudoun.
The extension — which has been called the Silver Line, although a final name has not been selected — will include 11 stations, with eight in Fairfax. Metro is studying making changes to its iconic map and other signage to accommodate the new stations and its plan to divert some Blue Line trains at rush hour.
The debate Tuesday centered on naming a station in Herndon, temporarily referred to as the Herndon-Monroe station. Its recommended name is Herndon-Reston West.
Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) wanted to change the name to Reston-Herndon West to recognize that many area residents live in or identify with Reston. Hudgins’s district includes Reston and some parts of Herndon. She is also chairman of the Metro board.
“You can’t get into the parking lot [of the station] without going into the area of Reston,” she said. “The travel pattern is oriented into the direction of the station.”
Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) said Hudgins’s proposed name reversal would confuse riders. He proposed the name Herndon Station.
“I think it’s the simplest for the travelers that are going to use it,” said Foust, whose district also includes Herndon. “This isn’t about 200 people that are going to be looking at it today. It’s about hundreds of thousands of people who are going to be using it.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) said the recommended name of Herndon-Reston West was meant to serve as a compromise.
“Unfortunately, we have a dispute here,” she said. “I am not going to support the motion to make a switch.”
Hudgins’s and Foust’s motions to change the name failed.