Stay tuned to this link for more on the Metro Board Meeting.
9:38 – The Metro Board meeting is already in full swing, and they came out hot with Supervisor Mark RMetidley-Thomas introducing his motion to grade separate the Crenshaw Line from 48th Street to 59th Street and to include a station at Leimert Park. You can read Ridley-Thomas’ motion here.
“In the view of many, Leimert Park is the premier cultural destination on the Crenshaw Line,” Ridley-Thomas began. “It is the center of a historic and unique neighborhood.”
Ridley-Thomas compared constructing the line without a Leimert Park Station to a Gold LIne without Mariachi Plaza or Little Tokyo stops.
The Board agreed to a half-hour of public testimony in favor of the project from Crenshaw residents and leaders. That testimony has just kicked off.
10:00 – While public testimony in favor of the grade separated Crenshaw Subway and Leimert Park is overwhelmingly in favor, this letter by Jerard Wright shows that its possible to disagree with the Ridley-Thomas motion and not be anti-Crenshaw.
10:30 – Public comment is completed. Staff explaining why they didn’t have station or “subway” in original proposal to board. Basically, it doesn’t meet the grade-crossing policy standards and would cost $500 million that they don’t have without taking from other projects.
11:02 – A half hour later, we’ve heard from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, opposing the motion, staff, opposing the motion, and Supervisor Gloria Molina, opposing Yaroslavsky. We’re two hours in to the meeting.
Some key quotes in the debate,
Zev: “There is no money that is hanging out there that is unobligated.”
Molina, responding to a Zev’s claim that the “consistent” vote is to vote against the Ridley-Thomas motion: “I’m at the mercy of inconsistency of this Board for projects for the Eastside.”
11:43 – It’s beginning to look as though the Leimert Park Station will be approved and the grade separation won’t. In the past half hour, John Fasana stated his intention to split his vote and Mel Wilson hinted he might. In between Diane Dubois basically stated that she wouldn’t vote for either part of the split motion.
12:20 – Metro Board rejects “Park Mesa Tunnel” for Crenshaw Line. Vote on Leimert Park Station, coming up. Ridley-Thomas, Antonovich and Molina voted yes. The rest opposed.
12:36 – Metro Board taking a pause on Ridley-Thomas motions to vote on other stuff while Board staff works on amendments to Leimert Station motion. Items #2 and #2 pass in moments with almost no debate. See the full agenda here.
1:18 – A whole bunch of stuff has passed while they try and get the motions and amendments in order for the Leimert Park Station notice. The highlight is the day pass was just reduced from $6 to $5, returning to 2009 levels. Now they’ve moved on to the Wilshire BOL? Woah.
1:48 – It’s nearly time to start making dinner. The Wilshire Bus Only Lane Debate is still in public comment. The Brentwood Community Council has a new wrinkle: the project needs a new environmental review because it will shrink sidewalks near the V.A.
2:05 – Board passes the 7.7 mile route from Downtown to Beverly Hills and Brentwood surrounding the 405 entrance. If City Council doesn’t pass the same route, the two bodies will go in to negotiation. Vote breakdown: L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar abstained, Molina was absent, everyone else was present and voted “yeah.”
2:23 – “Katz motion” passes allowing Leimert Park Station to be built at-grade. Below grade if it falls in the budget. I’m a little confused, but we’ll publish motion when we get a copy.
3:05 - I’m sure it will be available on the Metro website soon, but here is the “Katz motion” on the Leimert Park Station. Thanks to Rick Jaeger at Metro.
3:09 – The press release that the Board passed the budget without amendments just came through the wires. Since I didn’t follow the budget debate, the text is available after the jump. Read more…