Last September Sound Transit asked people to weigh in on a new name for University Street Station, and the results are finally in. "Symphony" has rightfully won, narrowly defeating "Benaroya Hall" by 1%.
Here are the full results:
• Symphony 25%,
• Benaroya Hall 24%,
• Seneca Street 20%,
• Midtown 13%,
• Downtown Arts District 10%
• Arts District 8%.
As I wrote a few months ago, Sound Transit undertook the task of renaming the station to avoid confusion. When the U District Station opens next year, we'll have the University of Washington Station, the U District Station, and the University Street Station. That's just way too many U-type stations for people to navigate. Since University Street Station doesn't really have anything to do with universities anymore, that station's name needed to change.
Of the six names Sound Transit proposed, I argued that "Symphony" sounded the best, made the most sense, and pleasantly evoked the clang and bang of the human symphony that greets riders upon exiting the station. I'm pleased so many seem to agree with me. This is a close but clear victory for those who champion elegant and yet practical wayfinding solutions, and I applaud us all for speaking out on this important issue.
While it's nice that Sound Transit sought input from the public, the final decision ultimately rests with the authority's board members. On Thursday they'll convene in the Ruth Fisher Boardroom at Union Station from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to vote on the new name. If you've got the time, pack the Rider Experience and Operations Committee meeting and demand that the board obeys the will of the people.
While you're there, ask if Sound Transit has the authority to banish from the region the 13% of people who picked "Midtown" over all the other options. If they want to live in New York City so bad, they should be free to go. In the meantime, I'm going to lobby King County Council Member Reagan Dunn on a policy to provide one-way bus tickets to "Midtowners" to ease their passage.