Beverly Hills public officials are at last united in their efforts against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposal to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School as part of the .
Mayor Barry Brucker sent a to Metro conditioning the City Council's approval of the project on a subway route that does not travel under BHHS. The letter reiterated the city’s desire for a route that goes under Santa Monica Boulevard to reach Century City.
Brucker and the council majority of Vice Mayor Willie Brien and Councilman Julian Gold had previously resisted calls to make the city’s support conditional on the Santa Monica Boulevard route. The trio had endured criticism from Board of Education members for not taking a strong enough stance on the matter.
Despite repeated outreach from Brucker, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa—who chairs the Metro board—has not responded to a generous offer from Beverly Hills to provide a for a Santa Monica Boulevard alignment. Brucker himself said Tuesday that a from Villaraigosa about the issue was "unrelated to the scope and nature and severity of our concerns."
Metro's blog The Source said Wednesday that Brucker’s letter to the MTA “does not include information about seismic issues in the area that could factor into decisions made about where the subway stations and tunnels are constructed.”
Furthermore, the Westside Neighborhood Council of Century City and Cheviot Park voted last week to endorse a Century City subway stop on Constellation Boulevard, which would require tunneling under BHHS.
These events point to the unwelcome prospect of Beverly Hills spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a legal battle to stop the subway if Metro chooses the Constellation Boulevard route. The council has authorized for the subway fight and the Board of Education has authorized more than .
In the meantime, Board of Education members continue their strong public stance against a subway station on Constellation Boulevard. Board President Lisa Korbatov wrote an opinion editorial against the stop in the Aug. 15 Los Angeles Business Journal to counter an earlier op-ed from the Century City Chamber of Commerce.
“If we learned anything from this summer’s debt-ceiling standoff in Washington, it should be that government at all levels must stretch every dollar collected from taxpayers,” Korbatov wrote. “It would cost an additional $5,000 per inch to move the station 1,000 feet south to Constellation from its long-planned location at Santa Monica, without any legitimate justification for doing so.”
Board Vice President Brian Goldberg told Patch that he is “in 100 percent agreement and support” with what Korbatov wrote and that he is pleased city officials have come together in their fight against Metro.
“I am glad that the full council has now joined the full school board in tying our support for the subway extension to MTA choosing the … Santa Monica Boulevard route,” he said.