Expo Opponents Go to Court. Expo Proponents Go to the Times

The section from Overland to Westwood is 200 feet wide between back fences.
The section from Overland to Westwood is 200 feet wide between back fences.

For transit supporters, all eyes are going to be set on a court room in Norwalk today for the hearing that will determine the short-term future of light rail in West L.A., but as they’re traveling to the Courthouse the Times has given them some reading material.

An op/ed by Karen Leonard and Sarah Hays, the pair of Cheviot Hills residents who have been pushing back at the image of Cheviot Hills as an enclave opposed to transit, makes the case that a silent majority of their neighbors support light rail transit, at-grade or otherwise.   The duo base their claim on an exhaustive history of going door-to-door to promote Phase II of the Expo Line.  They write:

One weekend we knocked on 60 doors. We found 15 active supporters of the rail line at grade as currently proposed, three vehement opponents and 14 who had no opinion one way or the other. (The others weren’t home.) And so it goes every weekend: We’ve never found the opponents in the majority. At this point, we have talked with more than half of the 1,400 households in Cheviot Hills, giving priority to those who live closer to the line.

Politicians have already caught on that the bark of Westside Expo opponents is not representative of their numbers.  How else could you explain Zev Yaroslavsky, who’s wearing a pair of black hats with transit advocates for his views on the Westside Subway and Wilshire Bus-Only Lanes, being such a strong supporter of the project?  But for Westsiders, who see a sea of those orange and black lawn signs blasting “the train,” it could appear that their neighbors are fighting against the train.

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