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Metro Board Approves Tunneling Under High School to Reach Constellation Blvd.

The board is moving forward with plans to extend the Purple Line through Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood to reach the Veterans Administration.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved Thursday the final two stages of the Westside Subway Extension, which will involve tunneling under Beverly Hills High School to reach a station in Century City.

The board voted 7-2 to approve the final legs of the Purple Line route. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Duarte Mayor John Fasana dissented. The two supported a motion calling for more study on alternative subway routes, but that motion failed.

The board majority also rejected Beverly Hills' claims that the planned route for tunneling under BHHS was unreasonable, which consultants for the Beverly Hills Unified School District and city of Beverly Hills argued at a held May 17.

The majority was made up of Metro directors Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar, Santa Monica City Councilwoman Pam O'Connor, county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Richard Katz, Mel Wilson and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the board's chairman.

Representatives of the Beverly Hills school district said to stop the subway from going under BHHS.

In a report , Metro staff affirmed the agency's position that it would be safe to tunnel under BHHS to reach a stop at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars in Century City. 

The controversial route is part of the proposed Westside Subway Extension, a $5.6 billion expansion of the Purple Line to Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. The city of Beverly Hills presented the Metro board with  for reaching a station on Constellation Boulevard that did not require tunneling under BHHS.

The Metro board approved plans in late April for the first phase of the Westside Subway Extension, but  so it could consider Beverly Hills' objections to tunneling under BHHS.

The first stage of the project includes stops at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. Phase two has stations planned for Wilshire/Rodeo and Constellation/Avenue of the Stars, and phase three would have stations at Westwood/Wilshire and then the Veterans Administration Medical Center. The Purple Line currently starts in downtown Los Angeles and ends at Wilshire/Western.

Many Beverly Hills civic leaders and residents support the subway but are , while others in Century City and Los Angeles have  of Metro's plan.

Check back with Patch later for more on this story.

cutop May 24, 2012 at 07:47 PM
As a resident of Beverly Hills, I am urging my elected officials not to waste any more taxpayer money fighting this with a lawsuit. Tunneling under the high school is safe. Don't let the Southwest Homeowners Association bully you into protecting their property values. And don't let Clifton Smith manipulate you any further than he already has. I consider bad press from the Courier as a vote of confidence in my elected officials.
George May 24, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I would urge everyone in Beverly Hills to look at the wonderful metros that have been built by their compatriots in Tehran and Mashhad. Why are they all against this?
Joel Epstein May 24, 2012 at 09:00 PM
There is a transit god and there will be a station at Constellation Blvd & Avenue of the Stars where it belongs.
Jake May 24, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Thank you to Metro for choosing the route best for the citizens of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles County. No thank you to aging dinosaur Mike Antonovich, who needs to retire. No thanks either to tea partier Clifton Smith and his Beverly Hills Courier who ran false, inflammatory headlines like "Metro On Track to Destroy Beverly Hills High." Although I know it's unlikely, I can only hope that Beverly Hills decides to forego a expensive and time-consuming lawsuit that they will most likely lose. Metro has their own lawyers that work on Environmental Impact Reports and they've been sued and defended themselves successfully many times before.
Simon May 24, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Yeah! Sanity--and not hysteria--prevails.
George Vreeland Hill May 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM
The court of law will decide this. Not Metro. Metro has failed in every conceivable way in proving that a tunnel under BHHS would be safe. Metro's reports lacked so much evidence that their paperwork looked like Swiss cheese. Their reports were incomplete, rushed and filled with untruths. Now there are reports that Metro hired people to do studies who are not even licensed to do so. This whole thing is a sham and will be exposed in court where Metro will have to finally tell the truth. George Vreeland Hill
Jake May 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM
George, every comment you make is the same, filled with paranoia and absolute distrust for your local government. Why is it then that you put so much faith in your Beverly Hills officials, who represent a much smaller group? If Beverly Hills had such a strong legal case because Metro's documents were inadequate, do you really think Metro would go ahead despite regional transportation planning and litigating being their specialty? Do you think a court will substitute its own judgment for that of transportation and geology experts whose business it is to build transit? The Beverly Hills officials have been lying to you, George, due to the irrational fears of a few homeowners associations who will actually benefit from the subway.
John Von May 25, 2012 at 12:00 AM
People ask why there is no reliable public transportation in Los Angeles. One of the reason are rich people trying to keep LA segregated. Not everyone has BMWs and Benzes to get around on. Glad they're building this and ignoring the selfish yuppies.
Jim May 25, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Is it important to your argument to claim that Clifton smith is a tea party representative? In other words he wants lower taxes, reduced government, and people to keep their own money in their own pockets....But what does that have to do with his position on the subway? which i happen to oppose..but still, saying he is a tea partier as if that is a bad thing only makes your argument non existenet...
cutop May 25, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Writing as someone who has also pointed out Smith's political affiliation, I would like to defend Jake's usage. Knowing Smith's political tendencies is only important because he infects his entire self-published newspaper with political bias to the point where every article reads like an opinion piece and not actual news. That Smith advocates smaller government and the elimination of unions is paramount to an argument which points out Smith's motivation for sabotaging the Subway to the Sea project. Add in the fact that he's been lambasting democrats Villaraigosa and Yarovsolvsky for years (staunch backers of the Purple Line) and all of sudden it makes total sense why Smith is so dead-set at ruining this much-needed, long-desired Metro line. For Smith - who is not even a Beverly Hills residence... he lives ~25 miles away in San Marino - this fight has nothing to do with the students and teachers at Beverly High. Make no mistake, this is purely a politically-motivated, ideological battle for Smith. He could care less about the people of Beverly Hills.
Jay Gould November 08, 2012 at 01:44 AM
thanks george metro are all crocks
Jay Gould November 08, 2012 at 01:47 AM
all i no is your wife wishs her tunnel was smaller, try that i have, and back off of george
Jay Gould November 08, 2012 at 01:49 AM
hey you german liberal go back to where you came from
Jay Gould November 08, 2012 at 02:00 AM
the metro writes the most tickets for the poor they can not afford five dollars for a day pass and one dollar for transtfer get real this is only for the rich to make money off the poor and destroy all comunties you crocks all wear ties

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