New Video: Metro Will Blow Up Beverly Hills High School

As debate continues at Metro headquarters over the Westside Subway, the Parent-Teacher Association of the Beverly Hills High School released the above video on YouTube. The video graphically illustrates their concerns. Sometimes a video is so clear that commentary from Streetsblog writers is not necessary.

  • Dan W.

    While the subway must be built safely, this fear mongering is utterly ridiculous.

    Who stands to benefit if the NIMBYs win on this?  The NIMBY’s accuse Metro of selling out to developers if Constellation is picked as the Century City stop.  What a smoke screen.  If the stop is on Santa Monica Blvd., that would create tremendous pressure to sell the golf course and develop it into Century City North — a developer’s dream come true. 

    Are developers actually hiding behind people pretending to be anti-development, behind a smokescreen of “concern” over tunneling under Beverly Hills High School?

    Subways run safely under schools, churches, even the Pentagon.

    Agree to build BHHS another parking lot and let’s move on.

  • Anonymous

    This video should be in the dictionary under “NIMBY-ism”

  • Anonymous

    I can see how this completely unbiased, un-sensationalized video will really get Metro to take Beverly Hill’s concerns seriously.


  • Anonymous

    They won’t be able to sell the high-school properties to a high-rise developer if there’s a subway under it. That’s the bug in their bonnet. 

    These clowns have a f****** oil well ON CAMPUS, but that’s no problem. A subway 75-100 feet below the campus though, that’s worth getting our back up over.

  • it’s insane to waste a zillion transit dollars just to keep the surface streets for cars only. instead, build a light rail line down the middle of the biggest, nastiest, most crowded surface street heading out west (Santa Monica, Wilshire, etc.).

    take a further car lane in each direction and give it to bikes.


  • Anonymous

    Actually, Wilshire was specifically not allowed to have surface streetcar (LARy) or Interurban (Pacific Electric).

  • Anonymous

    Closer to home, Metro just recently dug the Gold Line tunnel in East L.A. under the 1st Avenue Elementary School on East 1st Street (Between Mariachi Plaza and Soto stations)

  • @TAPman:disqus I think we all know that’s okay for *those* kids, but not the kids in Beverly Hills. You know what I mean. 

  • “Closer to home, Metro just recently dug the Gold Line tunnel in East L.A. under the 1st Avenue Elementary School on East 1st Street (Between Mariachi Plaza and Soto stations)”

    Was it under the school proper or just under the street?

    Not to say the arguments of BHHS have any merit. 

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-16109589:disqus :  Obviously I do not have access to the exact tunnel dimensions and location, but judging from Bing/Google Maps and from this video:
    or this one if you are in a rush:

    …I’d guess that the outer edge of the southern tube enters the property line of the school, if maybe not the building.  Certainly as close as any of the Purple Line tunnels will come to running under any classrooms at BHHS.  

    (The path of the tunnel is under buildings E, F, and/or G, right?)

  • Andyarmstro
  • Anonymous

    Do the NUMBYs in Beverly Hills realize that the current system has had methane detectors in place since it was built:

    and AFAIK, none have ever gone off?

  • Rabidcats

    Oh if only…………

  • Anonymous

    I thought StreetsBlog headline was hyperbole…until I watched the video. It takes a page right out of the finest of propaganda machines, right up there even with Glenn Beck. I salute the BHPTA for laying out a position that leaves it little room for negotiation, fallback, or retrenchment, if Metro ultimately decides to tunnel under the school.

  • Yes, let’s reiterate….letting people prospect for oil on campus. Totally fine. Nothing could ever possibly go wrong there. A subway though, yes that will bring the apocalypse because every subway in NYC/Chicago/DC definitely doesn’t go under a hundred schools a day or anything. ::roll eyes::

    *I’m not necessarily opposed to the oil well either, I’m merely stating for illustration as we all know accidents can and have happened while drilling for oil. So these safety concerns are disingenuous at best. 

  • I’ve tried to avoid hyperbole on this topic…but that video…I think I’m going to watch it every time i’m in a bad mood.

  • That time lapse video is really cool.

    Wonder if the train still stops at those few red lights?

  • Anonymous

    The man who talks about H2S destroying the brains of teenagers, Louis Pandolfi, sounds like an interesting character…

    “Pandolfi’s credibility was undermined by Angeles’ defense attorney, Steven Baric of Orange County. Under cross-examination, Pandolfi told Baric that he and Phillips had met only once to discuss the events of June 17, 2008. That meeting was in the summer of 2008, Pandolfi testified. “Only once, Mr. Pandolfi?” Baric asked, then produced two photographs showing Pandolfi and Phillips together outside the Hyatt Westlake Plaza hotel earlier this month.

  • Janna

    Have any of them ever tried to take a bus on Santa Monica in that neighborhood? It’s awful. A gigantic, car-filled, pedestrian-unfriendly street that is hard to cross and splits the neighborhood in half. I would welcome a station further off from that road.

    Also, they’re all up in arms about developers trying to influence a station location, but not a peep from them about LACMA trying to get theirs moved…

  • Greg

    BHUSB recently voted not to extend the oil drilling lease when it expires in 2016.

  • Dan W.

    Developers would LOVE a Santa Monica Blvd. station because it would probably result in the selling of Los Angeles Golf Course to make Century City North.

    And what is so wrong with development in an established business district anyway?  That means JOBS and economic opportunity.

  • Irwinc

    Those cowards turned off the comment section on YouTube… lol

  • Peaches

    And yet it still took 90 minutes to get from downtown to the coast via the PE Red Cars.  Surface transportation is subject to surface traffic.  Be it bus, light rail, or really big cars. 

  • Robb

    Of course, there’s no evidence (not even in this video) that tunneling somehow makes the methane danger worse. If anything, I’d think the mitigation measures during construction would make it safer for the school.

    I mean, they might as well say “under the school, there’s molten hot magma way down there. And Metro wants to TUNNEL. Think of the children!!!”

  • Alan Fishel

    Come on, This kind of scare tactics is addressing the lowest common denominator and not becoming Beverly Hills  

    Nimbi’s stopped the Expo Line at Culver City for the route through Cheviot Hills. The line was broken into two segments delaying the line several years and increasing the cost to almost double. Please lets avoid the same with the Purple Line. There is nothing Beverly Hills High School will not be able to do that the building of the subway will preclude including an underground parking lot etc. Let’s get this line built as one line from Western to the Federal Station west of Sepulveda. Splitting it will cost billions and years to build.
    We all know that a bored subway under anything is not a
    problem. If anything it makes the ground in the area more stable and less
    likely to shift in an earthquake. There are bored subways under schools,
    buildings of all kinds and anything you can imagine worldwide including Los
    Angeles. So why is Beverly Hills  using their school district to fight the
    subway so hard? Just follow the money. Could it be that a future development at
    Los Angeles Country Club would be more desirable with a station next store on Santa
    Monica Blvd instead of several hundred feet away at Constellation Ave? Who is
    really behind this effort to stop the subway under the High School? Where is
    the money coming from to make such a high profile anti subway tunnel? None of
    the resistance has any real valid safety, construction or noise issues. Again
    so who is really fighting the subway and why?


    Constellation Ave and Avenue of the Stars is where the
    action and user population is. So why make all of the users travel several
    hundred feet north to use the subway? Shouldn’t the station be in the center of
    the action?

  • Glittermagic86

    LOL this is so embarrassing that this was even made. 

  • Eric R

    At about 3:35:  “The risks are so real that in the State of California, there are no transit tunnels under any permanent school buildings.”

    That’s some bald-faced lying right there.  Wow.  Just wow.  I’m sure the rest of their claims are just as honestly and well-researched, too.

  • Anonymous

    There are kids with Green Hair in that video and we are supposed to worry about their exposure to H2S?

  • Anonymous

    I like the comment in the video that the tunnels are so shallow that they won’t be under the buildings, they will be going through the buildings. That creates a great visual in your mind when you look at the school. Maybe it will stop in the cafeteria to drop off fresh pizzas for the students.

    Or, the mention of the methane gas explosion that happened at the Ross Dress for Less store in 1985. The methane gas leaked into the building through the floor slab, it had nothing to do with any tunneling.

    Somehow, digging a tunnel will release numerous toxic materials like a horror film where the creature that had been living beneath the city for centuries is suddenly freed to terrorize the population.

  • Thomas

    Beverly Hills is going to turn into a laughing stock.  This is such a sad example of the 1% trying to screw the 99%.  We get it, you don’t want dirty public transit riders in your neighbourhood.  Just say that, instead of making videos like this which are just full of lies.  We’re not that stupid.

  • Gosino

    who ever put this video together is an idiot…the $578 price tag they posted for the Belmont Learning Center was actually wrong…that was the price tag for the Ambassador Hotel (RFK) Schools.  Lies, lies, lies…what the hell is wrong with people

  • Bev

    if the gas is so dangerous, close the school completely then.

  • Anonymous

    How about, instead of serving La Cienega, the line goes to Beverly Center/Cedar-Sinai. then makes a curving route straight to Century City.  Seems to me the route could avoid BHHS and any other public schools in BH.  The extra cost of this routing could be paid by the elimination of the Wilshire/Rodeo (and any other) station in the City of Beverly Hills.

  • Rose


    1. If the ‘GAS SCARE’ had any merit, the Tunnel Boring Machines *TBM will take place entirely underground, at a very deep level (what a liar you are about it being shallow).  The tunnel is started, dug, reinforced and completed as it inches its way along.  There is no possibility of escaping gas.  In fact it would protect the gas from escaping with the double round solid tunnels.

    2. “THE SWATH” through BHHS was caused by BHHS nonsense.  The Subway Tunnel will never see the light of day either before, during or after completed.

    3.  You idiots – if you have ground stability concerns, a massive double reinforced contiguous tunnel will provide SUPPORT FOR ANYTHING ABOVE GROUND – It will strengthen any foundation it passes under — especially if riddled with empty oil pockets.


  • JFC

    OMG, stop, stop. This is the funniest thing I have seen since I saw Borat. I mean the director should get an Oscar for best comedy screenplay! Through the buildings, HAHAHA. Just hilarious stuff here…oh, wait, they mean it, that’s even funnier.

  • Anonymous

    The costs for the Lil’ Hannibal Lecter Reeducation Camp (aka Belmont Learning Center) were astronomical. The place was built and torn down, then built again. I have problems with this video – but taking a dump on the misadventures in school building in LA with regards to underground methane? Video was spot on with that.

  • rose


    Your genuine concern about there being a possible validity to this video is the serious problem with the makers of this absurd propaganda scare tactic that, apart from trying to affect the subway, is already creating true fear, suspcion, hostility and an ever growing community of people who have not followed the years these ‘film makers’ have spent trying to come up with any possible excuse to change the route of the subway line.

    The real reason for such a strong effort to change the route of a tunnel that will have already passed through the city of BH and on the last stretch exiting the city for the next stop after the 2 highly fought over stations in the city of BH, is the FINANCIAL GREED OF B.H.

    This short portion of the miles of tunnels being built will use a TBM and NOT result in the total digging up of SMB, temporarly cover as a tunnel is built in the excavated street, then the temp cover is removed and dirt fill is brought back to cover the tunnel, fill the giant dig that was once Santa Monica Blvd, then resurfaced.

    ‘TEMPORARY’ in this project is YEARS of construction, devastating traffic, road safety, and all the damage to cars, buildings, people, businesses et al…




  • Geraldo’s Mustache

    Video is a good argument to close the school, level it and make it a park.  Seriously these old Waxman/Zev alarmist arguments are silly.  But if they want to go that route, I suggest the state red flag the school and demo it as soon as possible.  If their argument is valid, subway or not, these kids are in danger.

  • I think a 90-min train ride is not the end of the world — it might actually be enjoyable. We have to start somewhere.

    Of course, we should make all the major thoroughfares walkable and bikeable, first — including the 10 and the 405 — because we should not tolerate cars at all, much less give them high-speed freeways that advantage driving over all other forms of transport. 

    If the 10 and 405 can’t be converted for use by human-powered transport, or public mass transport, or non-tranport, productive uses, like farming or living/housing/production, then we should tear them down.

    Why was Wilshire not allowed to have rail?

  • Anonymous

    A methane gas explosion in this case is a very real possibility.
    All it takes is one spark from digging and boom.
    There are many, many cases where this has happened.
    The people of Beverly Hills are right in not wanting the tunnel under BHHS.

    George Vreeland Hill

  • Minoter

    How did you escape from BH Patch?

  • Carol

    If it is that toxic no one should allow their child to attend BHHS! The city of Beverly Hills should find a less toxic location and build their high school there.  And don’t say there is no location, remember eminent domain.

  • Guest

    This is the worst fucking bullshit propaganda video put together by the metro bus drivers association ever. Serious … we all produce Hydrogen sulfide out of our bodies … that subway explosion happened decades ago and newer more efficient and safer digging methods are now in place. This is crap.

  • Anonymous

    Not only should they not tunnel the subway, the BHHS location is clearly a disaster waiting to happen and the whole campus should be condemned immediately. Amazing it doesn’t blow up like once a week, really.
    I’d think lobby groups in BH, of all places, could come up with a better produced attack video than this, right?

  • Ironica

     What crack are you on? Excavation happens all the time in that area. In fact, part of the reason BHHS has given for not wanting the subway under them is that they might want to put their parking underground at some point.

    Just because some idiots doing unpermitted digging in the basement of a department store managed to set a methane vein on fire, doesn’t mean that NO ONE can EVER do it safely.

  • Lester

     Ladies and Gentleman, I give you George Vreeland Hill, enemy of Angelenos, purveyor of propaganda, distributor of poorly edited anti-tunnel videos, one man cheerleader.

  • Ryan

    Anyone who would like to write to the BHUSD Board can do so via:


Beverly Hills Brings Its Best Face and Smartest Brains to Yesterday’s Subway Hearing

View more videos at: Yesterday afternoon must have been surreal for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  At noon, he delivered remarks to an audience of 1,200 of L.A.’s elite at the Westin Bonaventure as part of the Center City Association’s “Treasures” awards.  Jokes about the lackluster performance of the Lakers in the past couple […]

Hating on Metro Part of the Curriculum at Beverly Hills High School

In August of 2012, Beverly Hills Highlights, the award-winning student newspaper at Beverly Hills High School, editorialized that the crusade run by the school district’s Board of Directors (BHUSD) against the subway was an expensive waste of time. After reading such a sober and well-thought-out argument, the school district leaders couldn’t help but reconsider their […]