Century City Subway Stop Topic of News Conference

L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz, backed by about 60 people, said Thursday that the Century City stop should be in the center of the community rather than at Santa Monica Boulevard.

Editor's Note: The following article originally appeared on .

Flanked by a crowd of supporters, including area homeowners and business leaders, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz said at a news conference Thursday that he wanted the Century City stop for the to be located in the heart of the area. 

"I stand with them in the strongest possible terms," Koretz said of workers and residents who want the station to be built at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, where the news conference was being held, rather than several blocks to the north at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars.

He addressed a crowd of approximately 60 people, most of whom had gathered to support the controversial location for the stop.

Residents in neighboring Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District have been the proposed Constellation station because it would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School.

BHUSD Superintendent Richard Douglas said at the news conference that financial figures released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is building the subway, support moving the station to the Santa Monica Boulevard site, including a $60 million lower price tag and 5 percent higher expected ridership. In addition, he expressed concern that building improvements at the high school would be negatively impacted by the tunneling under the campus.

"That is the only space we have," he said of the school, adding that the MTA does have other options for the subway's route.

However, Susan Bursk, president and CEO of the Century City Chamber of Commerce, said that the numbers Douglas was citing were from an older draft Environmental Impact Report and that the MTA is updating them.

"I don't think the numbers are accurate," she said. "Metro is still analyzing it. I'd like to wait and see what they come up with."

Bursk showed the results of a radius map study done by Gibson Transportation Consulting on behalf of the chamber, which showed a station on Constellation would probably serve more people.

Stephen E. Breuer, president of the Century City Homeowners Alliance, said that the station placement seemed obvious to him.

"Just take a look around you," he said, pointing to the huge office buildings surrounding the intersection. "We have four corners of incredible density."

Misael Martinez, who works in the Century Park building on the southeast corner of Constellation and Avenue of the Stars, came to the news conference with colleagues to show his support for the station location. 

"It's a lot of traffic to come into work," he said. "It's better to take the Metro."

Jan Reichmann, president of the Comstock Hills Homeowners Association north of Santa Monica Boulevard, said that she also thought the ridership would be better with a stop in the heart of Century City.

"Those who want it on Santa Monica don't care about the impact on us," she said, citing the five years that local homeowners were affected by the widening and reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard. "We're not whining. We're not threatening lawsuits."

She added that even with the proposed Constellation stop, there will still be tunneling under homes in her neighborhood.

During the question period after the remarks at the conference, an unnamed man in the crowd said that lawyers should not be blamed, since many of them work in Century City and would like an easy route to the courts downtown.

David Murphy spoke up from the crowd as a resident of Beverly Hills supporting the Constellation station.

"Obviously, we need to be sure the school is taken care of," he said. But he asserted that commuters would be better served by the Constellation station.

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Carol Spencer June 11, 2011 at 05:17 PM
I wish to compliment the writer for accurately reporting the press conference. There are at least two sides to every issue - Residents - homeowners - businesses - shoppers all have joined together to present their views -their reasons why Constellation Blvd @ Ave of the Stars should be selected. This is a grass roots effort of citizen volunteers who will ultimately board the Century City Subway Station banding together with the members of the Century City Chamber of Commerce to get our views out to the public at large. We are not hiring lobbyists, advocates, or reluctant engineers as BHUSD has done using funding that should go towards repairing and rebuilding schools in Beverly Hills. BHHS should work with Metro to achieve a WIN-WIN for all. Other builders have done that to their advantage.
John Mirisch June 14, 2011 at 06:46 AM
While the reporter may have reported the press conference accurately, the press conference itself was a stacked deck. Ms. Spencer's group, the Comstock Hills homeowners doesn't have to hire lobbyists: the Century City developers are doing the work for them. What, unfortunately, was not presented strongly enough in the article were the reasons for Ms. Spencer's group, the Comstock Hills homeowners' opposition to the less expensive, less intrusive Santa Monica alignment, which is what Metro had been planning for the better part of a decade, until the developers piped up. Ms. Spencer's group wants the subway station as far away from them as possible: it has nothing to do with ridership, cost or any other issues aside from NIMBYism in its purest and most elemental form. The engineers hired by the BHUSD are anything but "reluctant." They understand that the proposed Constellation alignment is the result of a classic "bait-and-switch" and for all the developer-funded press conferences, misinformation and screaming double-standards, the Santa Monica alignment is the one that makes the most sense from any number of perspectives. If Ms. Spencer really wants to fight for a "WIN-WIN" solution, she would turn her attention to the UCLA/Westwood station, which is almost a mile from UCLA, and fight for a more central Westwood station. But then again that part of Westwood is already not in her backyard.
Tom Pease June 14, 2011 at 06:18 PM
This article is factually incorrect. The Santa Monica Boulevard stop is not "several blocks North". It is one block North. Trying to tell us that people will not take the Subway because of that one block walk is as asinine as suggesting that Century City Mall needs a Monorail because no-one could consider walking from Macy's to The Container Store.


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