First phase of Westside Subway Extension to La Cienega?

Some keen eyes around town spotted this item on the Board of Directors’ Planning Committee agenda for tomorrow: In short, Metro staff is proposing to build the first phase of the Westside Subway Extension to Wilshire and La Cienega instead of Wilshire and Fairfax.

There are several reasons for the proposal, as explained in the staff report below. The gist of it is that La Cienega is a more favorable location from a geologic, paleontologic and logistics perspective to be the end of the first phase of the project. Going to La Cienega would obviously add to the cost of the first phase but not to the overall cost of the project.

It needs to be made clear that this is a receive-and-file report to the Board of Directors and is part of a larger discussion involving an update on the agency’s long-range plan — meaning the Board will not be taking any action on the item. A decision about the first phase of the subway and the timeline for completing it will be made as part of the Board’s approval process for the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report, which is being finished and should be released soon.

As many of you know, the agency’s long-range plan has the subway going to Fairfax by 2019, Century City by 2026 and Westwood in 2036. Metro is in the process of trying to create new funding opportunities  — the America Fast Forward program — in order to secure federal loans and other financing to accelerate the construction of the subway and all the other Measure R transit programs. That has obviously been tough going in Congress, but the agency remains committed to trying to finish the Measure R transit projects sooner rather than later.

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9 replies

  1. Good.

    Then Metro can decide how it is gong to connect the Crenshaw/LAX line to Hollywood via West Hollywood, junctioning with the Purple Line at either Fairfax or LaCienega.

  2. If only subway construction costs are in the millions, not billions, and it takes a shorter time to build a system. 24 years is a long time to see a system completed.

  3. @Thomas N

    Reducing meetings and costly reports is the first step to reducing time and taxes.

    A good example is how China does it; politicians draw a red line through a map and order workers to start building it the next day. They get it completed in less than five years before labor and material costs rise.

    Of course the down side to this authoritarian method is disregarding public input whatsoever and giving gov’t the full authority to do whatever it wants like bulldozing homes and businesses as they see fit with little or no compensation to the owners because it gots in the way of “the bigger good of society,” but hey it sure does keep costs low and build things faster.

    As Fat Tony from The Simpsons once mentioned “…you can really keep costs down when you don’t pay for materials, or labor, or permits or… land.”

    • Hi George;

      At this time, there are no lawsuits pending over the Westside Subway Extension. As the staff report explains, the decision is based on La Cienega being a better place for the phase one terminus than Fairfax from a logistics and geologic standpoint. It’s also important to remember that this will be a decision the Board of Directors makes when they consider the subway’s final environmental impact statement.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Hi Steve –

    One other question – should BH file a lawsuit, could Metro proceed with Phase 1 while figuring out what to do with the CC stop (a la what happened with the Cheviot Hills homeowners and the Expo line), or could a judge issue an injunction stopping the whole project because the CC stop is contained in the same EIR?

    Anxiously looking forward to getting off the train at Wilshire and La Cienega!