In its latest edition, the Beverly Hills Courier has wrongly reported that “The final environmental impact report of the Metropolitan Transit Authority strongly favors the proposed route under Beverly Hills High School and 78 Beverly Hills homes according to a summary document obtained exclusively by The Beverly Hills Courier.”
The thesis of this story is incorrect, as the Courier was told by Metro prior to publication. The final environmental impact statement/report (FEIS/FEIR) is not complete, nor has it reached any particular conclusion and the summary document cited by the Courier is not part of the FEIS/FEIR.
Also, under no circumstances is Metro considering an alignment that would go under 78 homes within Beverly Hills. The alignment alternative now being evaluated would go under four residences.
For these reasons, Metro is asking the Beverly Hills Courier to retract its story and to publish a correction for readers and other media outlets who rely on the Courier for information on the Westside Subway Extension project.
The “report” cited by the Courier is a compendium of Power Point slides previously released to the public in meetings, other forums and on Metro’s website. The 22-page report was constructed as a briefing document about issues under study in the FEIS/FEIR and it does not express any preference for any particular subway route (watch it for yourself here). The route under Beverly Hills High School property remains under consideration, but other routes are also being analyzed.
The title of the slide-show describes issues now being considered in the the FEIS/FEIR process, not the official results of the ongoing study or any recommendations being made by Metro staff.
Metro and the Federal Transit Administration are following a deliberate and proscribed process for the completion of the FEIS/FEIR. The recommendation it makes for station location in Century City (and other places) as well as the overall alignment will be based on geotechnical, seismic and other studies performed in the last several years.
At this time, the FEIS/FEIR is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2011. After its release, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the report before the Metro Board of Directors considers whether to accept the report and decides the final alignment for the Westside Subway Extension.