Short, clear station names vital to transit system wayfinding

WMATA map with long station names: “they’re not station names, they’re committee meeting minutes.”

The folks at London Reconnections have a new podcast – On Our Line. The second episode features a long conversation with two experts on transit map design and understanding, Max Roberts and Peter Lloyd.

The discussion hits on several topics

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BRAC, but for WMATA station names

What’s in a name? Recently, a WMATA Board committee voted to add destinations to the Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian stations. The two will soon be “Foggy Bottom-GWU-Kennedy Center” and “Smithsonian-National Mall” stations, respectively. Matt Johnson at Greater Greater Washington has a good read on why these name additions are a bad idea and will add

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Even more signs that the Silver Line is coming…

We still don’t have word on a start date for WMATA’s new Silver Line service to Tysons Corner, but more and more signage for the service is appearing in the rest of the system.

New signage, complete with (SV) bullets at Federal Center SW Station. Photo by the author.

This signage is from the

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Signs that the Silver Line is coming…

As WMATA prepares to take control of the first phase of the Silver Line from MWAA (with the exact handover date yet to be determined), signage for the new service is starting to pop-up around the system. WMATA is trying to raise awareness about the new service and new track with a dedicated website; you

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Miscellaneous information and visuals about Dulles International Airport

In the process of scouring the internet for sources for my previous post on growing air cargo traffic at Dulles International Airport, I came across a whole host of interesting documents and information that I couldn’t find a way to fit into the narrative. So, here’s a smorgasboard of some tangentially related

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Graphic standards on the Subway – a lesson for Metro as it evaluates the future of ‘Metro Brown’

Today, Second Ave Sagas linked to a digitized copy of Massimo Vignelli’s 1970 graphics standards manual for the New York City Subway. The photographed pages of the manual describe, in exacting detail, the graphic look and feel and philosophy of wayfinding signage for the Subway. While Vignelli’s schematic map (a scan of the map can

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What’s wrong with ‘Metro Brown?’

Last week, the Washington Post featured a lengthy profile of WMATA’s head architect, the man behind the concepts in Metro’s recently unveiled ‘station of the future‘ concept. The article offers some insight into the thinking behind the proposed re-design of the Bethesda station, as well as some of the pushback Metro has received already from

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Metro’s ‘station of the future’ – why mess with what works?

This week, WMATA unveiled a concept for their “station of the future.” The press release and accompanying video flythough of the pilot station (Bethesda) for these improvements lists the reasons for these changes, including “improved lighting, better information and improved customer convenience.” And who would be against those things? All three have been criticisms of

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Wayfinding challenges for WMATA’s Rush Plus

WMATA’s recent service change, branded as Rush Plus (probably over-promising things just a bit as “rush hour reinvented”), involved deviating from Metro’s fairly straightforward delineation of lines and services via color. Metro’s increasingly complicated service pattern is getting to the point of requiring a similarly robust nomenclature for services.

When a rider speaks of the

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Observations from San Francisco

As a nice respite to DC’s heat, I was able to spend the last week in California – including several days in San Francisco. Some thoughts and observations from the trip:

Hills and Grids: Gridded streets have plenty of benefits, to be sure – but the downside is that they do not react to

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