Here’s a quick rundown of the major votes by today’s Metro Board. Each of these five motions were discussed at Streetsblog over the last couple of weeks, and links to those stories can be found at the end of each summary. Streetsblog will have links to all news reports on today’s meeting tomorrow.
Westside Subway Locally Preferred Alternative/Environmental Studies
As expected, the Metro Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the Westside Subway “Locally Preferred Alternative” as the 9 1/2-mile route to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Brentwood from the current end of the Purple Line at Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Despite over an hour of public comment from the Beverly Hills’ NUMBY’s, there was no decision made on whether the subway should have a stop on Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City or Constellation Avenue.
Yaroslavsky’s motion, which seemed to place the concerns of Beverly Hills regarding the Constellation Avenue/Santa Monica Boulevard debate ahead of those of other communities, was amended by the author to urge the staff to provide a detailed account of the impacts of both alternatives through the Westside. This would have happened regardless under the Final Environmental Impact Statement that the Board approved funding for today. For background on this motion, read yesterday’s Streetsblog story or an update on today’s vote from LA_Now.
Regional Connector Locally Preferred Alternative/Environmental Studies
The Metro Board also approved the “Locally Preferred Alternative” and funding for the environmental studies needed for the Regional Connector. The debate was dominated by Little Tokyo business groups concerned that “cut and cover” subway construction would disrupt the community and cost them business. Downtown interests and LA City Councilwoman Jan Perry also expressed concerns about the exclusion of the 5th and Flower stop from the LPA. The Board narrowly voted to exclude the 5th and Flower for now, but left the door open to include it in the environmental studies, if local businesses raise the roughly $2 million needed for that part of the study. For more background, read this story at Streetsblog or an update on today’s vote from Blog Downtown.
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