Transportation headlines, Friday, Feb. 8; Bev Hills legal fees, Gold Line work in Azusa, transit’s impact on traffic

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

BHUSD pays law firm $439,000 for three months work (pdf, page 10) (Beverly Hills Weekly) 

The payments approved by the elected Board of the Beverly Hills Unified School District were to the firm Hill, Farrer and Burrill, LLP, for their work on the district’s lawsuit against Metro. The suit alleges that environmental studies for the Westside Subway Extension did not comply with the law; the Board is trying to prevent tunneling for the project to go under a part of the Beverly Hills High School campus.

Overall, the Board spent nearly $2.58 million on legal and lobbying fees in 2012 to seven different firms. Some of that money, the Board says, went to cover the costs of geotechnical investigations, with payments being made to engineering firms by the law firms. Board of Education President Jake Manaster said that the District may be able to recover its legal fees from Metro should the District prevail in litigation. If the District loses, however, Manaster said Metro could not be made to pay the District’s fees.

Korean Air’s office-hotel will be tallest building in L.A. (Bloomberg) 

The tower at Wilshire and Figueroa in downtown L.A. will be 73 stories and 1,100 feet tall; the U.S. Bank building is 72 stories and 1,018 feet tall. The skyscraper will be built on the site of the old Wilshire Grand hotel and will be conveniently across the street from the entrance to the 7th/Metro Center station that serves the Red/Purple Lines, Blue Line and Expo Lines — and will be the future home of the Regional Connector tying together the Blue, Expo and Gold lines.

According to this list on Wikipedia, the new Korean Air building will be the 10th tallest in the United States and the tallest building west of Chicago. The Stratosphere in Las Vegas is actually a taller structure, but not considered a skyscraper because much of its structure is unoccupied.

Public transit saved 865 million hours of delays (Texas Transportation Institute) 

Chart

To put it another way, according to the Texas Transportation Institute’s calculations, not having mass transit would dump a lot more vehicles on the roads of major metro areas, leading to even worse traffic. Let’s think about it another way: what if a fraction of the 158,000 or so boardings on the Red/Purple Line stopped taking the train and instead drove? Do you think that would improve travel times on Wilshire Boulevard and the Hollywood Freeway? (Correct answer is: No!!!!!)

Azusa officials get preview of Gold Line Foothill Extension work (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Work is underway on the eastern portion of the 11.5-mile line that will extend the Gold Line from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. Work on the grade crossing at Dalton Avenue begins later this month. There’s also a photo gallery with the article, but more pics of officials than construction work — and some annoying ads, too.

7 thoughts on “Transportation headlines, Friday, Feb. 8; Bev Hills legal fees, Gold Line work in Azusa, transit’s impact on traffic

  1. I graduated from Beverly Hills High School, and I am a resident of Beverly Hills.

    I have just about had it with this nonsense that the Beverly Hills Unified School District is propagating. They are wasting millions of our taxpayer dollars in a futile, unfounded, and irrational lawsuit. Expecting that somehow money combined with apprehension will change hard based facts.

    All of this money could have been spent on the actual schools, which, if I am not mistaken, a school district should be doing. Instead what do our students get? A dwindling amount of courses, fewer teachers, larger classes, and countless outdated textbooks that have their entire bindings torn off. Do you need pictures to get this through your heads? I have more than enough. Do you need current student testimonies? That’s not in short supply either.

    I do not pay one of the highest property taxes in the world, so that it could be blown off on a mindless witch-hunt to stop a project that would result in a better and stronger city.

    BHUSD is prohibiting our residents from getting to work quickly, and easily. Instead they would prefer us to sit countless hours waiting in gridlocked traffic.

    BHUSD is prohibiting the easy access for tourists, an integral part of our local economy, resulting in in an accrual loss of growth for the businesses of Beverly Hills. Go ask the business committees, they know what is at stake here.

    BHUSD is prohibiting cleaner air and a more environmentally friendly Beverly Hills by forcing more and more cars on the road.

    BHUSD has made it a shame to be a resident of Beverly Hills by upholding the general assumption that Beverly Hills is full of archaic thinkers living in their own isolated bubble.

    BHUSD’s shifting priorities are not only hurting our students, but our entire community as well.

  2. My heart goes out to the poor students of the BHUSD. The $450k could have been better spent… on geology and civil engineering textbooks for the school board members.

  3. Beverly Hills Unified School District is wasting their time and money trying to sue Metro. The City of Beverly Hills is being ridiculous by not wanting subway stations in their city. The subway would benefit everyone. It would benefit residents that work or go to school in other parts of LA, the tourists who are in Beverly Hills hotels or those that want to see Beverly Hills. Also, it would benefit people who live in other areas of LA and work in Beverly Hills.

  4. It’s not necessarily the City of Beverly Hills, but rather the school board. The mayor of Beverly Hills actually supports the subway and was at the announcement ceremony.

    BHUSD has been excercising way too much power recently. Not only are they being wreck less with these lawsuits, but they’ve also been doing other absurd things like buying houses as investment properties….

    Someone needs to shut them down.

    The problem is the school board members have these wing in Beverly Hills that fanatically supports them. It’s hard to do anything against them since they have their power secured.

    I’m trying my best to get things changed but I lack the organized base of support.

    In any event, if you guys have time write BHUSD and complain they are hurting the students by spending it on these absurd lawsuits.

    Also writing the BH weekly or the BH courier wouldn’t hurt either. Although I know the people who write for the BH courier, and telling from them it won’t go very far.

  5. BHUSD Seriously needs to put their priorities in check! Open up the way to the subway already! Same goes for opening up the 710 fwy extension! Traffic is bad enough in LA as it is and this will help save countless hours of traffic and time and money!

  6. At this point, wouldn’t it be worth it to propose a replacement path that not only avoids BHHS but as much of Beverly hills as possible? Why not route the Purple Line to stop at Pico & Robertson and thereby service a more pedestrian-friendly area?

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