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Bev Hills School District Tries New Tack to Get Its Way on Subway

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The unending tug-of-war between officials at Beverly Hills Unified School District and Metro over placement of the Century City subway station began quite pitched, with school representatives saying in the press and at community meetings that the safety of students would be compromised should a tunnel be built under the school (which would be necessary for a central Century City stop)--not only because of structural concerns, but because of terrorism too. But in a Los Angeles Times story today, school officials don't talk about jihadists or students being sucked into a sinkhole: "The available land where we can build anything above or below ground is exactly where they propose to build a metro tunnel," says BHUSD superintendent Richard Douglas. Ah. School board President Lisa Korbatov, whose performance at subway meetings could best be described as "strident," is now quoted simply as saying a $150 million bond measure to modernize BHHS would be threatened by the subway tunnel. Douglas and Korbatov, who have authorized hundreds of thousands of bucks for lobbyists and publicists to fight this issue, also argue that having a stop at Santa Monica Blvd.--which wouldn't require tunneling under BHHS--would save $60 million and shave 45 seconds off travel time. The case against the Santa Monica Blvd. station, as opposed to a stop at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars, is that it's less central, and since Century City blocks are long and un-pedestrian friendly, a stop at the edge of the area will likely be less appealing to potential riders (oh, and there may be a fault line running across SMB).

"At the end of the day, Century City has so little participation in transit that I think we want to do everything we can to almost slap people in the face with the opportunity to take transit," Councilman Paul Koretz told the Times. "When we have the subway, it should be right in the heart of the activity." Metro's Jody Litvak says that subway officials can likely accommodate both the tunnel and BHHS's expansion plans, which include underground parking. Developers also seem to favor a stop at Constellation and Ave. of the Stars (that's a good or bad thing depending on who you ask), as do many area homeowners and the Century City Chamber of Commerce, which just put out a top 10 list of reasons to put a stop in the middle of CC.
· Subway Officials Oppose Route Under BHHS [LA Times]
· A Lesson in Subway-Fighting [Curbed LA]