Update at 1 p.m.: As predicted, the Metro Board has voted 7-to-2 to approve the Constellation Station for the Westside Subway with a routing under Beverly Hills High School. More details at The Source.
As mentioned earlier, I won’t be attending or listening to today’s Metro Board Meeting or the Special Hearing on the Westside Subway because I will be traveling. However, after four years of public outreach, including a pair of three hour meetings in the last month, I don’t think I need to be there.
Fearless prediction: this afternoon, the Metro Board of Directors will vote to approve a subway alignment that runs from a station at Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard to a station at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars–and the route will run underneath Beverly Hills High School. Sometime in June, I’ll write a story about the City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District suing the agency arguing that they did not meet state environmental laws when examining the subway route.
The approval will follow hours of public testimony. There will not be any videos played.
Why am I so confident? Simple math. Unless a Board Member votes out of character, there are seven votes “in the bag,” which is a majority of the board. There is one vote that is a certain “no.” There are five votes that are in some question.
First the “no.” At last month’s board meeting, Supervisor Mike Antonovich voted against even the extension of the existing subway to La Cienega Boulevard, four miles from the current end at Wilshire/Western. Antonovich’s other public statements point towards another “no” tomorrow.
Next, the “yeses.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is almost certainly a supportive vote. With his support comes the support of his three appointees, Mel Wilson, Richard Katz and Councilman Jose Huizar. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is a certain supporter. Diane Dubois voted for the route in committee. However, there is a real chance that she will miss today’s meeting for personal reasons.
If Dubois is present, then a majority is nearly assured without the support of any other board members. If it’s not assured, then the Subway route needs one more supporter from the five remaining votes. Read more…