UPDATED 3:19 pm: A lot of news on the Purple Line subway extension front this weekend. First, the Los Angeles Times, which has kept mostly mum on the controversy involving the Century City station, made their opinions clear with an editorial on Saturday that told Beverly Hills to "clear the tracks" and stop throwing monkey wrenches into the project. BH is apoplectic over the idea of a subway tunnel under their high school (pictured), which would be necessary to bring a stop into the heart of Century City (at Constellation) and to avoid building a station on top of an earthquake fault (at Santa Monica Blvd.). The LAT editorial board calls Beverly Hills's fierce resistance to the tunnel a "wrongheaded fight," says their fears over tunneling are "greatly exaggerated" and that "community hysteria" has taken over, and notes that the Red Line subway tunnel already runs under LA schools. They also write that ridership numbers were important to the station placement (8,600 people a day would board the subway at a Constellation station, compared with 5,500 at an SMB station). Lastly, the editorial board reports that the Beverly Hills City Council was set to vote last night to request a special hearing before Metro--something that state law allows them to do. The hearing, which will likely delay Metro's certification of the final environmental impact report for the subway, was approved unanimously last night by the council, according to the Beverly Hills Patch. The LAT says that if Beverly Hills pursues legal action after the hearing and delays the project further, it will be "a slap in the face to LA County voters, who approved higher sales taxes to pay for the subway extension."
The next step is likely the hearing between the BH City Council and Metro (though the transit agency has not yet formally removed the subway item from the agenda for their Thursday board meeting). The Patch reports that this hearing must be scheduled within 15 to 60 days--we're waiting to hear from Metro on whether this hearing will indeed happen. Update: A rep for Metro tells us that the the Purple Line is still on the agenda for Thursday's meeting and that the Metro board will discuss Beverly Hills's request then.
· Clear the tracks, Beverly Hills [LAT]
· BH City Council Requests Public Forum for Subway Debate [BH Patch]
· 90210's Way or the Highway Archives [Curbed LA]