A social media website was by the Beverly Hills Board of Education to air its views on the proposed Century City Subway Station location thereby spending a portion of $500,000 pledged to fight Metro through lobbying and attorney fees.
At the same time the Beverly Hills Board of Education is reported to be considering cutting funding to the district’s adult and alternative education department to bridge a potential shortfall in the 2011-2012 budget and auditing the school lunch program to cut costs in that area. Would the money spent on lobbying be better spent on educating students?
A highly misleading name—www.centurycitysubway.org—was chosen for the website that will tend to confuse the reader and lead them to believe it might come from an official Metro source. The site contains unauthorized, slanted viewpoints!
Currently the website states that it will educate people who live and work in Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood about the best site for the Century City Subway Station. However the facts presented are preliminary in nature and seen through the eyes of the BHUSD.
As a resident of Westwood, I have a totally different set of facts to work with.
The BHUSD website states that a station on Santa Monica Boulevard will have the highest ridership. However the facts do not back this up.
The Century City Subway Station located at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars will be at the center, the hub of Century City leading riders directly to Century City office buildings, hotels, shopping, and restaurants. There are 40,000 daily workers who will be served by the Constellation Station. In addition there are 2,200 residential units south of Constellation who would be able to use this subway station location rather than get into their cars.
Santa Monica Blvd. is bordered by the Los Angeles Country Club golf course offering zero riders. This is considered very bad design when ridership is a factor.
The BHUSD website states that both Constellation Blvd and Ave of the Stars are dead end streets. However they must not be aware of the plan of Century City.
Both Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Blvd, the hub of Century City, were designed for easy access to surrounding through transit roadways and parkways such as Santa Monica Blvd, Olympic Blvd and Pico Blvd, the same roads that are frequently complained about as bringing too much traffic through Beverly Hills.
The BHUSD website states that it will be $60 million less to build a subway station on Santa Monica Blvd than Constellation Blvd. However, this was a preliminary estimate based on “conceptual engineering." The Final EIS/EIR is refining cost numbers based upon additional analysis and engineering to achieve a more accurate preliminary cost estimate.
The Santa Monica Blvd. subway station did not have the added costs of safely building the subway station on top of, parallel to the Santa Monica Earthquake fault line or the Beverly Hills Lineament considered by many authorities to be another earthquake fault lying under Moreno Drive and Santa Monica Blvd.
There is also a 20-foot wide drainage ditch located between the LACC golf course and the former Robinsons May parking structure creating costly problems for the newly added Eastern Santa Monica Blvd subway station location.
The BHUSD website states they will prove three criteria—cost, ridership and travel time that will make a subway station on Santa Monica Blvd. make the most sense. However, using the same preliminary information I have offered you another view of the facts thereby proving that the subway station that will serve the riders best will be the Constellation Station in Century City. After all does it make sense to walk an additional 10 minutes to save a few seconds travel time?
And as Metro’s Jody Litvak commented:
“Whatever your views on the subway, or the location of the Century City Station, I invite you to participate so that your views become a part of the Metro planning process. Please go to our website for public material, information on scheduled meetings, or go to "Contact Us" to send us your thoughts or add yourself to our data base so you can be notified directly about developments. You can also join our Facebook page for information about subway related developments and to share your thoughts with us and others who are following the Westside Subway Extension.”
Carol Spencer is recording secretary of the Westwood Community Council and vice president and traffic committee chair, Comstock Hills Homeowners Association.