Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mayor wants Copley Station renamed to Copley-BPL - T may not be happy about it

Jake wrote the mailbag at concerning a turf battle between Mayor Menino and the T
Big fan of your blog.

Anyways, I'm an Emerson student and was looking for
help writing a paper on the current BPL/Copley naming
debate in the Mayor's 2007 agenda. Are there reasons
why the MBTA has put up such resistance to such an
idea? Is there an economic impact to such a
renaming...that type of stuff.
I have to admit this is the first I had heard of this so I did a little searching. The Mayor has indeed filed a bill with the legislature to rename Copley to Copley/BPL ( Boston Public Library )

Mayor Menino’s Legislative Initiatives
for the 2007-2008 Legislative Session

An Act Relative to the MBTA’s Copley Station – This legislation would change the name of Copley MBTA Station to “Copley/BPL Station” to reflect the influence and
contributions of the Boston Public Library in the Back Bay area.

The only reason the T might be against this is the cost of reprinting maps and putting up new signs in the station, but since the station is currently being remodeled the signs shouldn't be an issue. Renaming stations has been done in the past at Kendall, Charles and Hynes ( and much earlier when Mechanics was renamed Prudential, Massachusetts was renamed Auditorium and then Hynes and Atlantic being renamed Aquarium )

If anyone has a little more background on this we would love to hear from you and help out Jake. Adding BPL (Boston Public Library) to the Copley name shouldn't be an issue.


Brian said...

I'd guess its mostly out of concern about redoing all the maps for what is just a PR stunt. I'm not saying its necessarily not a worthy PR stunt, but its not like the BPL just moved there. Not that this is a consistant arguement, since I'm pretty sure MGH and ICA pre-dated the initial naming (or renaming) of their stations. You could argue, though, that MGH was a practical renaming while ICA was an acknowledgement of its increasing stature. The Library isn't any more important now than it was when Copley was built, is it? And, the practical needs of library patrons doesn't have the urgency of the needs of hospital patients. There would still be Kendall/MIT, but that was a case where they tried to just completely rename the station until the Kendall reasserted itself, but retained the addendum of MIT.

All that said, it may be worth revisiting a lot of station names, and if they are going to do it, they might want to do it right. While I know Lechmere Square predated the Lechmere store, I wonder if "Cambridgeside" might be a more useful name for riders. "Science Park" could become "Museum of Science". "Hynes" could revert back to "Massachusetts Avenue". Since Menino wants to take the Government out of "Government Center", maybe "Scolly Square" could come back. I might advocate for "Wood Island" to be reverted to "Day Square", too. And how about "Orient Heights" becoming "Constitution Beach"?

Of course, its these cascading additional suggestions that probably has the T spooked. They may be fighting BPL just as a means of avoiding a slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

I'm lost. Where is your evidence the T is against the change? (or "may" be against it, since the post has been edited from its original)

John Mc said...

The Boston Courant has an article on it not too long ago (2 weeks?). Unfortunately, they don't seem to have archives on line

Charlie said...

Anonymous said...
I'm lost. Where is your evidence the T is against the change? (or "may" be against it, since the post has been edited from its original)

This blog only passed on the email sent to the blog "suggesting" the T might be against the idea. All we wat at Charlie is the truth

Anonymous said...

If this goes through, then hopefully while they're at it they can change "Hynes/ICA" to "Hynes," now that the ICA has moved to South Boston.

Anonymous said...

they already changed hynes/ica to hynes.

Train Mon! said...

I'm indifferent to the name change. The real problem is that, as history has shown, even once the names are changed, the T takes years to update all its maps. I mean it was kinda pathetic when "Auditorium" was changed to "Hynes/ICA" and most Green Line stations still had the old maps calling it "Auditorium"--possibly even that station, but I can't confirm that. I mean, if major reason behind renaming stations or adding important landmarks onto current station names with a "/" is to help out riders, especially tourists, what good is it if you get to a station and the maps are outdated?

And please, MBTA, no more commercial names--permanent landmarks like museums, colleges/universities... and libraries. Commercial names just create controversy over who's a bigger entity in the area, plus, as with the case with the ICA, companies/institutions do pack up and leave, and signs have to be rewritten. Remember when "State" was briefly changed to "State/Citizens Bank"--yeah, that didn't stick!

Nervda said...

They can't rename Hynes to Massachusetts Avenue, as there is already a stop by that name on the Orange Line.

John Mc said...

And there's a Mass Ave silver lie stop as well.

I wonder if they're going for a full name change like Hynes/ICA, or a sub name added, like Kendall (MIT)

Erik said...

Let's rename or add-on to all the stations shall we?
Alewife-Fresh Pond.
Central-Cambridge Government Center.
Kendall goes back again to Cambridge Center just to confuse every one; Perhaps Cambridge Center/Volpe Wild Turkey Reserve?
Park Street becomes Boston Common/State House.
Downtown Crossing/Washington becomes R.H.Sterns/Kresge's/Jordan Marsh/Macy's/Filene's Basement (Haven't they contributed as much to the city as BPL?).
State becomes Old South Meetinghouse.
North Station should be North Station/Whatever The Garden is being called this year.
New England Medical Center also gets "-Tufts" added to it.

Then lets get rid of the line colors and revert to the old names like "Cambridge-Dorchester Line"...

Brian said...

The Citizen's Bank think was a marketing gimmick. It was an experiment in selling naming rights. Obviously a failed experiment.

And seriously, who gave even the slightest thought to calling it State/Citizen's Bank?

Charlie said...

We have been sent some background on the proposal

from the Back Bay Sun

Margolis has asked the MBTA to consider the change several times since coming to Boston and his position at the BPL ten years ago. “One of the most visible architectural elements of Copley Square is … this building,” said Margolis. “Wouldn’t it be appropriate to include it in some way in the name of the stop?”

But, Margolis’ requests have always been turned down by the T. “Historically the response has been that it is too costly to change the signage in the station,” he said.

Frustrated, Margolis approached Walz and the mayor, who both support the name change, about legislative action. “The T is unresponsive,” said Walz. “The only alternative is to do it through legislation. It seems like a perfectly reasonable request.”

With a complete station renovation about to get underway, Walz and Margolis felt this was a good time to file the bill. All the station’s signs will be replaced anyway. “Clearly [cost] isn’t the case now, because the station is being redesigned,” said Margolis.

Walz also argued that with the move of the ICA, the Hynes/ICA stop will also have to be changed now.

The T disagrees. “The MBTA will not entertain renaming that station,” said spokesperson Lydia Rivera. “It is a costly effort and would be confusing to our customers.”

seano said...

I seem to remember a Globe article from maybe a year and a half ago stating that the MBTA was planning on renaming Porter to Porter (Lesley), in conjunction with Lesley College building over the train tracks and platform east of the station.

Anonymous said...

At the Kendall/MIT stop, the station is signed as "Kendall/MIT" but the LED signs on the new Red Line trains says "Cambridge Center". Talk about confusing anyone that is not a regular rider. I realize that the Cambridge Center moniker dates back a long way, most infrequent users of the T will have no idea of that tidbit of history and may assume that the station is actually the center of Cambridge which most would agree is actually at the Central Square stop. It appears that the right hand is unaware of what the left hand is doing at the T, but why should that be a surprise.

Anonymous said...

The electronic voice on the newer trains says "Next stop Kendall MIT", and then "Now entering Kendall MIT. [pause] MIT Cambridge Center." I think the LED signs in the trains just say "Entering/Kendall".

Anonymous said...

At the Kendall/MIT stop on the Red Line, the electronic sign on the new trains definitely says
"Entering Kendall"
"MIT Cambridge"
The signage in the station is "Kendall / MIT". Cambridge Center must refer to the cluster of buildings Broadway and Binney Street although I can see why people might confuse it with being the center of Cambridge where City Hall and the library are located.

I wish the T would adopt names for stations and consistently use them everywhere, on signage and in announcements. To do otherwise can cause confusion for infrequent users and visitors.

Anonymous said...

Rather than be forced to change all the signs, they should just make a sub-heading at the station, like at Davis (Tufts). I don't think this is too much to be asked for.