If you’ve looked at the proposed map for the Westside Subway Extension lately (larger PDF version here), you may have been puzzled. Why do three spots seem to each have three different subway stops? Actually, those are just three options for stops at each of the three locations. Where those stops end up getting built is still up for debate — and if you have an opinion, let it be heard! The next round of community meetings for the Westside Subway Extension happen next week — and if you don’t speak up, your opinion will get buried under the voices of those who do.
The biggest controversy has to do with the location of the Century City station. One alignment would run the subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School, an option that the Beverly Hills Unified School District opposes — and has hired a law firm to fight. The District believes this option would be unsafe considering the “geological and petroleum composition of the site.” Metro, on the other hand, points out that this option would place the station in a busy spot in Century City, instead of a low-density area next to a golf course — while the other option runs the subway route along an earthquake fault.
The two Westwood stations also have would-be-riders debating options. Should the UCLA station be on the busy corner of Westwood and Wilshire — or placed closer to the UCLA campus? Should the VA Hospital station be on the north or south side of Wilshire?
Have an opinion? Get to one of the community meetings:
Mon., Jan. 24, 6 pm to 8 pm at LACMA West – Terrace Room, 5th Fl., 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Wed., Jan. 26, 6 pm to 8 pm at Westwood United Methodist Church – Fellowship Hall, 3rd Fl., 10497 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Mon., Jan. 31, 6 pm to 8 pm at Roxbury Park – Auditorium, 471 S. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills
Can’t leave the internet long enough to attend a meeting? Metro will livecast the Wed., Jan. 26 meeting at metro.net/westside. In addition to a chance to add your own comments at the public comment portion of the meeting, you’ll get a “background on the study to date, what community members can expect during the Final EIS/EIR and an overview of the anticipated subway construction process,” according to Metro.
If you don’t really care where exactly the stations are going to be — but do care when you’ll get to ride the subway, here’s what to expect. This summer, the Metro Board’s expected to adopt a final Environmental Impact Study/Environmental Impact Report (the Draft EIS/EIR was approved by the board in October 2010), after which Metro will need to secure funding and prepare for building. Actual subway building is expected to begin in 2013 — and to be completed by 2022-2024 if hoped-for federal funding comes through, or by 2036 if it doesn’t.