People of Beverly Hills, this is what your taxes are going toward: paying PR firms to craft priceless press releases that quote science fiction writers obsessed with monorails, all in a nonsensical attempt to convince a traffic-exhausted public that a crosstown subway is a horrible idea. The release, put out by the Beverly Hills School District, which has spent hundreds of thousands to fight the subway, wins Curbed's first unofficial Grasping at Straws Award. The statement's logic--was there any, really?--is that the agency that ran public transit in LA in the 1960s (not Metro!) made a big mistake by turning down an offer to build monorails throughout the county. They even run an old quote from author/monorail-lover Ray Bradbury, who in 2006 was still annoyed he couldn't zip above LA's streets: "So kill the subway and telephone Alweg Monorail to accept their offer, made 30 years ago, to erect 12 crosstown monorails--free, gratis--if we let them run the traffic. I was there the afternoon our supervisors rejected that splendid offer, and I was thrown out of the meeting for making impolite noises." (Note: Alweg doesn't exist anymore.) Now, Beverly Hills and its school district, which we're sure would absolutely love a monorail running right through their city, says Metro is in the midst of a similar folly by building a subway to Westwood (the Purple Line extension) and running it underneath their high school. What?
The BHUSD also claims Metro's geological justification for tunneling underneath BHHS is flawed--the agency conducted it via independent scientists, remember--and therefore everything about the subway should be scrapped. And not only is the science wrong, the release claims, the subway is too expensive and isn't needed.
While the school district continues to make the entire county laugh (remember the explosion video?), the city of Beverly Hills doubles down with their two lawsuits against Metro: "The city hired the new attorneys after the lead lawyer at Gilchrist & Rutter, one of two firms on the city's litigation team, left the firm and his new firm would not honor the terms of the city's agreement with Gilchrist & Rutter," Patch reports.
Like it or not, the first phase of the subway--from Western to La Cienega--starts construction next year and Metro is hosting a community meeting about work and the first three stations tonight at 5:30 at LACMA.
· MTA plans mirror infamous monorail mistake of 1960s [PR News Channel]
· 90210's Way or the Highway Archives [Curbed LA]