Metrolinx have proposed some changes to station names on the Crosstown LRT and want public feedback. Go to their site to participate.
I get on a Bathurst car and go along Bathurst until I come to Bathurst Station. Then I get on a bus and go along Bathurst to another Bathurst Station. Confusing? Yes indeed, but imagine how visitors find their way around.
A station is a place, not a route ten miles long. Bathurst is a route ten miles long, not a place. Lets un-fuddle our thinking and separate route names from place names. Or use both streets eg Bloor/Bathurst just like the brash Americans. Or follow our own example, University Avenue stations, which have the cross street as a sub heading and in parentheses, as in ‘OSGOODE (Queen)’. This appears to work well, and no one in fact refers to Queen.
|Neighborhood naming||Aga Khan||Yes|
|American style naming||Bloor/Bathurst||No|
|University Avenue naming||OSGOODE (Queen)||Yes|
Most of the changes proposed by Metrolinx move away from using cross street names, which is good, to neighborhood names, which is as it should be, and which has the potential to boost neighborhood identities, while at the same time avoiding obvious confusion. I suggest all Crosstown cross street station names be changed, and new names chosen by local consultation.
Station naming should be a fundamental planning step to engage the local communities all along the long line. Organize community groups, at least one per station locale, to explore local history, get schools involved, seniors, conduct ballots, and come up with home grown meaningful names. Given the huge dollars to build these things, the naming (process) is well worth a few more. Kids for a generation will remember the process, ‘I live in ‘Belgravia’, the name, lets say, the community chose for the station at Oakwood Ave.
Completion of Crosstown is still years away, an abundance of time for such a process. And when names are chosen, erect large temporary attractive signage, ‘Site of Crosstown Belgravia Station’.
Of the seven stations that Metrolinx wants to change, their proposals seem fine except for three. Aga Khan is excellent, anticipating a future landmark if it is not one now, but the tag Eglinton is ridiculous, unless ‘Eglinton’ is in brackets a la University Line names. Leaside is a historical name with a CP train station there years ago, but watch out since it may better apply to Laird and not Bayview – ask the locals. And Oriole obviously confuses with Oriole GO, miles away, so don’t go there!