Coming fresh on the heels of news that the California Supreme Court won’t halt construction while they consider an appeal filed against the Expo Line Phase II, comes news that a different Expo legal challenge has been resolved.
Last May, a group of Cheviot Hills homeowners filed sut against the portion of the Expo Bikeway last May arguing that the environmental documents prepared for the bikeway were insufficient. Word leaked earlier this week that a settlement was reached between LADOT and the litigants. While details of the settlement are not publicly available, Streetsblog has confirmed that design and construction of the bikeway through this area can proceed without further litigation.
The lawsuit only protested the portion of the bike route in the City of Los Angeles, and not the part in the City of Santa Monica or Culver City. The 3.85 miles of bikeway will run mostly along the Exposition right-of-way except for a portion on the street in Cheviot Hills. In exchange for dropping their lawsuit, LADOT will make provisions in the design to mitigate impact on the local homeowners such as extra lighting and a privacy wall.
Meanwhile, supporters of the Expo Light Rail Line also received good news this week. As first reported on Streetsblog’s Twitter Feed, the California Supreme Court did not grant a stay to Neighbors for Smart Rail. This means that no matter how long the appeal takes, construction of the project can and will continue.
Proponents of the project worried that even if the lawsuit fails, that a stay could still have killed the project. One source estimated the cost of shutting down and starting back up could exceed $100 million…money the Authority doesn’t have.
While nothing is official until the final decision is released, court watchers also believe this decision bodes well for the Construction authority. An attorney familiar with the case writes, “…if NFSR had a slam dunk, and the harm was irreversible, the injunction should have issued. That said, the court may still side with NFSR, and order an amended EIR looking at a different baseline than 30 years out.”
Executed Settlement Agreement – Samuels v. FHWA With all of the legal challenges to the Expo Line Phase II finally resolved, those interested in the multi-modal Expo Rail and Bike Path can focus their full attention on the path. Council Member Mike Bonin’s office is promising good news on the controversial crossing at Exposition and […]
LADOT Environmental Documents for Expo Phase II Bikeway What a difference a few weeks make. Before the Thanksgiving break, Streetsblog reported on how many Westside bicyclists were concerned about bike planning for Phase II of the Expo Line. While planning for the second phase of the light rail portion of the Expo Light Rail project […]
Homeowner’s whose houses abut the future Expo Bike Path have filed suit to force a full environmental review of the bikeway. The lawsuit charges that LADOT and Caltrans didn’t provide a complete view of the bikeway while applying for and granting a Categorical Exclusion (CE), a designation which exempted the project from a full federal […]
A group of Cheviot Hills residents who’s property abuts the proposed Expo Bikeway on the Westside of Los Angeles have filed suit for the second time in two years alleging that environmental clearances given the bikeway were given in error. Their first lawsuit, filed in June 2010, resulted in the City of Los Angeles and […]
It’s been a year since a group of Westside homeowners filed a lawsuit against the Expo Bike Path that would run adjacent to the rail line through the Westside into Santa Monica. The homeowners alleged that the categorical exclusion (CE) granted to the bikeway (a technical term meaning that only a partial environmental review is […]
While construction of the Expo Bike Path still years away, the LADOT is doing its best to complete its portion of the bikeway that will connect westsiders to the Expo Line. This week SBLA Steering Committee member Jon Weiss noticed that the bike lanes adjacent to the future Palms Station of the Expo Line were […]