A Call for a Temporary Cease Fire in the Westside Subway Wars – Op/Ed by Damien

Last week, the Century City Chamber of Commerce along with a couple of homeowner groups and L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz held a press conference making their case for a Westside Subway stop at Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Avenue.  The week previously, the CCoC launched a website, responding to a website launched by consultants for the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce which promoted a subway stop at Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Avenue.  Today, a rebuttal to the press CCoC/Koretz press conference was published in the Huffington Post.

And Streetsblog didn’t cover any of it.  Yet, I would bet that most Streetsblog readers know all about these events.  The events got a lot of press coverage in part because the news loves a Westside v Westside debate (even if most Westsiders and Beverly Hills residents would tell you that the 90210 is NOT part of the Westside) and in part because each side in this debate has some very good public relations specialists framing and pushing their message.  There’s a reason we haven’t heard anyone from BHUSD raise the specter of a terrorist detonating a bomb in the subway the moment it passes under Beverly Hills High School anymore.

The reality of the debate over where the Westside Subway should stop in Century City is this: there is so much information that we don’t know about which stop is best that all of this posturing is just that: posturing.

We don’t have firm ridership numbers for each station.  We know that if the bus routing for the area isn’t changed, the Santa Monica Station will have better ridership.  We also know that there’s more development existing and planned near the Constellation Avenue Station.

We don’t know how close the two routes would take the Subway to a series of seismic faults in the area.  Metro is studying that as we speak.

We don’t have firm costs for the subway.  We know that Metro has said the Santa Monica Station could cost $60 million less than the Constellation Avenue one, but we don’t have firm numbers for what each station will cost.

We do have two teams of well-funded teams pushing agendas which don’t have a lot to do with which subway route and station makes the most sense.  We also have two sides that are going to cry foul if the Final Environmental Impact Report doesn’t go their way.

I haven’t been shy about sharing my feelings on the subject, but we’re at the point where each side is just finding more creative and high tech ways to keep their message in the news.  So, until Metro releases its Environmental studies which answer these questions, Streetsblog is going dark on the “Constellation v Santa Monica Blvd.” debate.  When it is released, we’ll give a sober review of the stats, talk to people on both sides of the debate and try to cover it the debate going forward as responsibly and equally as possible.  I’m told the Final EIR won’t be released until sometime this fall.

5 thoughts on A Call for a Temporary Cease Fire in the Westside Subway Wars – Op/Ed by Damien

  1. One additional point: a station at Constellation puts the 20th Century Fox studio lot within walking distance, where Santa Monica Blvd. does not.

  2. Beverly Hills NIMBY’s make no sense (as usual). They are merely a bunch of car-obsessed groups, who know nothing about transit and who don’t care about transit. They only care about their little backyards, their pathetic polluting cars, and about their precious school (near which there are precious underground parking lots and precious oil refineries). Common sense does not apply to Beverly Hills NIMBY’ism, unfortunately. Therefore, no matter what, BHUSD will always stand against everybody else (and against common sense). I am confident, however, that Metro will build the station where the most ridership demands it. And Darrell, you’re absolutely right. The Constellation station will definitely put the location much closer to the 20th Century Fox studios; Metro could even prvide a free shuttle that could transport employeees/visitors to the Studios.

  3. thumbs up for exercising editorial discretion and not covering all the he-said she-said!

    Now if only cable news could learn that lesson…. maybe I still wouldn’t watch it…

  4. thumbs up for exercising editorial discretion and not covering all the he-said she-said!

    Now if only cable news could learn that lesson…. maybe I still wouldn’t watch it…

  5. You are correct, there is so much information that we do not yet know,
    however to counter Beverly Hills high dollar lobbyists presentations –
    residents who will ultimately use the Subway Station for Century City fearing
    that Beverly Hills moneyed entities presenting their views would color the
    issues & gather support in Washington to withhold funding for the entire
    Westside Subway if Beverly Hills beloved high school had tunnels beneath any
    part of their campus.  A grassroots effort was started with all volunteers
    – we invited the Century City Chamber of Commerce to participate.
     Together we presented our side of the issue at the press conference last
    week.  We want everyone to know there are other viewpoints – and many
    other issues to research – before a final decision is made by the Metro Board
    of Directors.  

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