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Rallypalooza: Unions, Politicians Urge Purple Line Approval

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BEVERLY HILLS: Tomorrow, the Metro board of directors is scheduled to approve or deny the final environmental reports for the nine-mile Purple Line subway extension from Koreatown to Westwood. Certification of the subway--which would move the project to final engineering and a groundbreaking this year or early next--is complicated by a request from Beverly Hills officials for a special hearing in front of the Metro board (Some BH officials don't want a subway tunnel under BH High School, a requirement for a station in central Century City; the option BH wants, a stop on Santa Monica Blvd., is risky because of earthquake faults). Metro has surprised many by leaving the Purple Line project on tomorrow's agenda. Today, 200 people, including union leaders, elected officials, construction workers, local residents, and business leaders took to Century City, at the site of Metro's preferred station at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars, to urge certification of the project, according to Lisa Cohen of the pro-transit group We Do Our Part LA.

Another pro-subway rally--with union members, clergy members (pray for transit!), and Beverly Hills residents supportive of the Constellation stop--is planned for 8:30 am tomorrow in front of Metro HQ . "This subway extension represents thousands of jobs for tradespeople all over Los Angeles," said Robbie Hunter, Executive-Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, in a press release. "This vote will create economic opportunities for our members, as well as residents of LA who will have an easier time getting to work, and businesses that will benefit from unclogging our streets." Meanwhile, the anti-tunnel crowd in BH will board buses tomorrow to plead their case in front of the Metro board. There are also lawn signs and huge banners throughout Beverly Hills that say "Metro's Reports are Faulty!" and "No Subway Under BHHS!"

Metro says they will discuss Bev Hills's hearing request during tomorrow's meeting. A lengthy letter from BH takes umbrage not just with the tunnel, but also with the La Cienega and Rodeo stops and dozens of other things related to the extension (more on that soon). Pictured at podium: City Councilmember Paul Koretz, standing next to Robbie Hunter of the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council [Curbed Inbox]