There's a tug-of-war going on over the Fairfax stop for the Purple Line subway extension, which should start work this year or next (well, if Beverly Hills doesn't change that). While Metro's most recent plans call for a station on the northwest corner of Fairfax and Wilshire, next to the closed Johnie's restaurant, LACMA is lobbying for an entrance/exit at Wilshire and Orange Grove, closer to the museum. LACMA is willing to pay for a second portal into the stop from the north side of Wilshire, in which case then Metro would pay for an entrance/exit on the south side of Wilshire. "LACMA is supportive of a primary portal at Wilshire/Orange Grove as this location serves not only the cultural institutions along this stretch but also the office workers and residents who work and live in this area," LACMA's Director of Communications Miranda Carroll tells Curbed. "As you know, discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have been made one way or another." It looks like Metro is warming to the idea as staffers with the extension project are recommending the full board approve the Orange Grove station and ditch the Johnie's idea, according to the Source. But a neighborhood group is not happy and wants the station right on Fairfax.
The Miracle Mile Residential Association joined forces with the Disability Legal Rights Center at Loyola Law School to urge Metro in a letter not to "succumb to [LACMA'S] efforts to shift the subway portal from the intersection of Fairfax and Wilshire." The groups believe that an Orange Grove entrance will make it more difficult for the disabled to catch buses on Fairfax.
"Although LACMA's counsel has offensively dismissed this accessibility issue as 'counting footsteps,' it is of real concern to the individuals DRLC represents," Michelle Uzeta, legal director of the DRLC, wrote to the extension's project manager, David Mieger. "Seniors and individuals with a variety of disabilities (visual, physical, intellectual and cognitive), will all be negatively impacted, unnecessarily burdened and at increased risk of harm should they be forced to navigate the extra distance inherent in LACMA's proposal."
Metro plans to certify the final environmental reports and staff recommendations for the subway at their board meeting on Thursday--though a Beverly Hills request for a special hearing on the report could delay that--so we might know more by the end of the week. We'd guess that Metro is more inclined to have additional entrances at a busy subway stop like this one, especially when one will be paid for by an outside party.
· Take a Peek at Renderings for 3 Future Purple Line Stations [Curbed LA]
· Metro Board committee sends Westside Subway Extension final study to full Board [The Source]