Last night, as blogger and ANC Commissioner Kent Boese proposed back in April, ANC 1A voted unanimously to endorse adding “Park View” to the Georgia Avenue-Petworth metro station. In doing so, the neighborhood joins the Capitol Riverfront and NoMa in requesting that their monikers be officially recognized by the Metro map, in advance of a new station naming policy that will determine how these things are decided.
According to Boese, the ultimate name need not include all three geographic designations. There are people, for example, who’d be happy to ditch the “Georgia Avenue” part altogether, given that Georgia Avenue runs roughly half the length of the District and naming a station for it tells you not much about where that station is. The positive good of adding Park View, he says, is that while they’ve seen significant development north of the station—-on the Petworth side, which is also Ward 4—-streets to the south haven’t improved as quickly, and literally putting Park View on the map might help potential retailers, developers, and restauranteurs look to that area as well.
But that makes this request different from the other proposed station name changes. NoMa and and the Capitol Riverfront have already become widely-known destinations that people need to navigate towards. That was also true of Adams Morgan, when it was added to the Woodley Park metro station. One can’t say the same thing of Park View; you mainly go there if you live there. Would adding a neighborhood to a metro station attract business to that neighborhood? Maybe. But then you have to decide to use metro station names as an economic development strategy rather than a wayfinding device, and it’s unclear where that path ends.
Photo from flickr user Park View DC.