Categorized | Editorial

Changing our history is just outrageous

Posted on 28 March 2014 by admin

Could you envision Toronto City Council changing the name of Yonge Street to 1 Street? Well, this is what the TTC is doing to our subway lines. Subway lines are underground routes for trains carrying people just like streets are routes for cars or bikes or buses carrying people. Our routes were named at the time of their creation, and main route names are rarely if ever changed because of their history and because it would cause major confusion.

Yet this is what the TTC plans on doing with not one but all of its underground routes. Worse, it’s changing names to numbers, going from words with meaning to numbers that are inherently meaningless. Why? To improve navigability. Really? How is going from names that reflect the geography of the streets above, names that have meaning and history, require no memorization to have meaning to the user, and are familiar to every Torontonian no matter how cognitively challenged, to numbers that have zero correlation with the streets above, no history, and no meaning sans memorization, improving navigability?

Isn’t it bad enough that Torontonians every few years have to relearn names of major buildings and lose part of their history without the TTC adding to our historical annihilation?

And when numeracy skills continue to be problematic and people hate numbers, how is going to numbers improving navigability?

Numbers gain meaning and are understood through association with words. Names have meaning in and of themselves. No memorization required when use word names unlike numbers or letters. Calling “southbound” “1″ is as meaningful as calling Yonge-University-Spadina line “1″. 1 only makes sense if a person *can* memorize.

Changing our history is just outrageous.

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