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Beverly Hills Mayor Makes Feelings on Subway Clear

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Beverly Hills' lovely-smelling mayor, Jimmy Delshad, along with help from a geological consulting firm, crafted a letter to Metro board chair Don Knabe voicing his support for the subway and the SMB alignment, reports the Beverly Hills Courier. As much reported, some in Beverly Hills, along with many of the city's officials, want a more northerly route between the Rodeo Drive and Century City stops that follows Santa Monica and includes a Century City stop along the Boulevard, ostensibly because that would mean less tunneling under homes and Beverly Hills High. Metro is leaning toward a more southern route with a stop closer to the center of CC; the transit agency says there's an earthquake fault under Santa Monica Boulevard, tunneling under homes has been done safely in seismic places like Mexico City, and putting a stop on Santa Monica Blvd. would bring ridership down (too far from many office buildings, they say). Metro recently announced they were going to think a bit more about this stop and the routing--the Courier reports that "members of the community have said they will appeal Metro's decision, should they not pick the Santa Monica alignment."

Dear Supervisor Knabe:

I am sending this letter on behalf of the Beverly Hills City Council. The City is currently reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/ Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Westside Subway Extension and will be submitting a comment letter to Metro in regards to the options studied, and on the analysis in the draft report. The City remains very concerned about tunneling under residential properties and especially under the Beverly Hills High School and the forthcoming letter will include comments, among others, on the possible track alignment options between the Wilshire/ Rodeo station and the Century City station. In advance of the comment letter, the City would like to re-iterate its support for the Westside Subway Extension Project and its strong preference for alignment through the City of Beverly Hills and to Century City along Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Delshad, Mayor
City of Beverly Hills

Also, BH's vice mayor Barry Brucker questions Metro's trepidations about the earthquake fault, saying the city ok'd two 40-story Westfield towers and the canceled 50-story Suncal/Jean Nouvel project, which would've been close to SMB. The Metro board will decide to approve the staff's recommended route--which, as of yet, does not take a formal stance on the Century City stop--on October 28.

· Beverly Hills Releases Comment Letter to Metro [BH Courier]
· Subway Recommendations Out [Curbed LA]