Metro: All Century City Subway Stops Still on the Table

A Beverly Hills Unified School District website says Metro is no longer considering a subway stop at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, but Metro officials say the posting is incorrect.

A Beverly Hills Unified School District website says the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is no longer considering a subway stop at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, but MTA officials say the location has not been eliminated as a possible station destination for the .

Metro representatives say they are continuing to discuss two proposed options for a Century City subway stop on , although a BHUSD website contends the agency has made a "unilateral decision" to drop one of them. A third option, at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, would require , something BHUSD opposes. District officials are concerned that if the Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars option is no longer being considered, the Constellation one, which it , will have a greater chance of ultimately being selected. 

A post published Wednesday on CenturyCitySubway.org, a website owned by the school district, accuses the MTA board of making the decision without informing the public:

"Without notice or public input, Metro last week dropped from consideration a long-planned station at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars based on its assertion that it would not be safe because of a purported earthquake fault."

The accusation is partially based on information on Metro's website and its refusal to release seismic data on the Santa Monica Boulevard site to the district, said Aaron Curtiss, a senior executive with public relations firm Sitrick and Company, which has been hired by BHUSD. Language on the MTA website indicates that the transportation board favors the Santa Monica Boulevard stop at Century Park East over one at Avenue of the Stars, according to Curtiss.

A station located under Santa Monica Boulevard at Century Park East, or a station located under Constellation Boulevard at Avenue of the Stars... [FAQ Question #9]

The station location under Santa Monica Boulevard was initially being studied at the intersection of Avenue of the Stars. Metro has now moved it to be under Santa Monica Boulevard at Century Park East to increase safety by locating the station farther away from the Santa Monica Fault zone. [FAQ Question #10]

"In this, it's pretty clear that Metro is saying it's safer there and that's where they're moving it," Curtiss said.

Jody Litvak, Metro's community relations manager, said the BHUSD's accusation is false.

"We haven't dropped anything," Litvak said.

A statement posted Wednesday evening to Metro's website says no decisions have been made.

"I would say that we are looking at two locations, one under Constellation Boulevard and one under Santa Monica Boulevard," Litvak said. "We were originally looking at the Santa Monica Boulevard stop being at Avenue of the Stars, and we are also looking at the Santa Monica Boulevard option further to the east to continue to serve Century City from Santa Monica Boulevard and avoid being in an active fault zone."

Litvak also said Metro has considered the stop at Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East for months. The announcement was first posted to the MTA blog "The Source" in February. Litvak said it has been brought up at public meetings since January. A statement posted on Metro's blog Wednesday says the same.

"We've been telling the public at least for the last six months that we've been sliding east to Century Park East to move it out of the fault line," Litvak said. "We have maps and diagrams that we've been taking to all the meetings."

The school district is also criticizing Metro for not releasing seismic data for the proposed location at Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East. Curtiss said Metro told the district the data were not "complete and conclusive," and not ready for release.

"Apparently they were complete and conclusive enough to move it to Century Park East," Curtiss said. "If they're conclusive enough to make that decision, why weren't they conclusive enough to release that to the public?"

Several options for stops in Century City are under review, including one on Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, one on Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East, and one on Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars. District officials say the Constellation Boulevard station would be the more likely choice if the option at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars is no longer on the table.

"I think by eliminating the Avenue of Stars [and Santa Monica Boulevard] location from consideration, Metro has seemingly stacked the deck in favor of Constellation," said Lisa Korbatov, president of the BHUSD board. "It was a locally preferred alternative for Beverly Hills, not just the school district."

A final report on the proposed subway route is expected later this year. Until then, no decisions will be made, said MTA spokesman Dave Sotero.

"The environmental review process is still ongoing, so there is no possible way we would make one decision over another," Sotero said.

During the review process, Metro collects information about proposed sites that will eventually be considered by the MTA board when it makes a final recommendation.

"A different location where there's a similar situation is the Westwood stop near UCLA," Litvak said. "We're looking at one on Westwood [Boulevard] and Wilshire, and one under Lot 36," she said. "Both are still on the table. We have told the public that because of some things that have happened in Westwood Village, Lot 36 has more challenges."

The post on CenturyCitySubway.org says the announcement to drop the Santa Monica/Avenue of the Stars station was made on Metro's Facebook page. Litvak said she searched the page's history and did not find the announcement.

"I have no idea what they're referring to," Litvak said.

A Superior Court judge recently ruled against BHUSD's claim that Metro violated the California Public Records Act by withholding information about the Westside Subway Extension from school district officials.

"We're pleased with the court ruling," MTA told Patch in a statement. "Metro will continue working closely with the community to keep residents and others updated on the project's progress, and will continue making documents available to all just as soon as they are ready."

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Brian David Goldberg, PhD September 23, 2011 at 12:42 AM
We have been told for months to wait for the final EIR/EIS from the MTA while board member after board member makes public statements supporting tunneling under Beverly Hills High School with a stop at Constellation. The fix is in we must only wait for the official vote and than the next phase to take place in the courts. For accurate information visit www.centurycitysubway.org
Carol Spencer September 23, 2011 at 06:28 PM
1- When the newly added Santa Monica Blvd/Century Park East alternate station (advocated by a Beverly Hills resident) was announced – information stated that the original location at SMB & Avenue of the Stars would have to be built directly on top of the Santa Monica Fault line. 2-That no subway station has ever been built directly on top of a fault line, that it was considered unsafe. 3-That subway tunnels can safely cross a fault line at an angle. Testing has gone on for many months, with the Final EIS/EIR due out yearend, in addition the geotechnical studies may be released prior to the FEIS. It is possible to surmise that point 2 above was the intent of the statement by Metro frequently asked questions released 9-13-11 and not the spin that the BHUSD website has placed on it.
Carol Spencer September 23, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Also, Everyone has had the ability to comment at every Metro meeting and on every Metro article printed in THe Source
Robert Champlain October 01, 2011 at 02:23 AM
Be honest, you people don't really care about ridership, fault lines, or any of those other factors, you just don't want any tunneling under Beverly Hills high...even if this means a stop at the edge of century city (next to a private golf course) instead of smack dab in the middle. Brian Goldberg, people like you are the reason anti-semitism still exists in this world.
John Mirisch October 01, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Dr. Goldberg is doing what he was elected to do: to protect the school district and its ability to serve future generations of children. Yes, he is certainly concerned about the effects that subway tunnels would have on the ability of the school to meet future needs. It's called long-term thinking and it's something we rarely get from elected officials. Let's be honest, RC: you don't really care about fault lines, ridership or anything but sticking it to "you people." Dr. Goldberg isn't the reason anti-Semitism exists. That'd be people such as yourself who are uninterested in common sense, logic or facts.


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