Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Feb. 19; another Beverly Hills lawsuit against subway, Najarian and Metro Board,

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.

City of Beverly Hills files lawsuit to block federal funding for Westside Subway Extension (City of Beverly Hills) 

The news release from the city is unclear whose decision it was to file a second lawsuit over the project. The only person quoted in the release is the city attorney. This suit names the Federal Transit Administration as the defendant and alleges that the environmental studies for the subway were flawed; the city doesn’t want the subway to tunnel under parts of its high school campus en route to Century City.

However, the news release notes that Mayor Willie Brien and the four members of the Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously this month to set aside an extra $250,000 of city funds for legal bills related to fighting Metro’s plans.

The lawsuit comes less than three weeks before Council elections on March 5 and the subway is obviously an issue — well, at least for some. It’s worth noting that Beverly Hills Mayor Willie Brien attended and spoke at a Metro event for the beginning of utility relocations for the subway back in November and said then that he supports the project. Support or not, the city filed this suit against the FTA, the federal agency that approves environmental documents and oversees the flow of federal money to the project.

The city of Beverly Hills last June sued Metro, also alleging environmental studies were flawed. The Beverly Hills Unified School District last year also filed a pair of suits, one against Metro and one against the FTA.

Beverly Hills’ subway spat (Los Angeles Times) 

Excerpt from this editorial:

Beverly Hills’ embarrassing battle against the Westside subway extension, which emerged as a major political issue last year, is becoming one of the key issues in the March 5 city elections. With the lines hardening between those determined to take legal action to stop the construction of a tunnel under the local high school, which they fear will endanger students, and those who see that route as the safest alternative, we urge residents to consider the scientific and engineering reality rather than merely relying on emotion. In other words: Stop gumming up the rails, Beverly Hills, for your own sake and L.A.’s.

The editorial says that Mayor Brien has tried to avoid a costly legal fight. But, as noted above, it’s unclear exactly who on the City Council approved the new suit against the FTA. According to the Beverly Hills Courier — a sometimes accuracy-challenged newspaper — Brien has said he will support the project even if it tunnels under part of the campus.

Jim Newton: an MTA power play (L.A. Times) 

Editorial chief Jim Newton looks at Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian’s battle to keep his seat on the Metro Board of Directors. Some on the Board oppose him, some support him. At the root of the battle is Najarian’s opposition to a possible tunnel for the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. That project is currently under study along with other alternatives including no-build, traffic signal and intersection improvements, bus rapid transit and light rail.

The mayoral candidate interview series (L.A. Streetsblog) 

Streetsblog on Monday debuted the first of five short video interviews with the five leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles. The first is with Emanuel Pleitez. The mayor of Los Angeles has an automatic seat on the Metro Board and also gets to appoint members to three other seats.

2 replies

  1. It must be nice that the city of Beverly Hills has enough “spare” money to fight the MTA on an issue that is baseless. Some of the most qualified geoligists back the MTA’s position, including renown Dr. Lucy Jones USGS. Maybe Beverly Hills can send some of the extra cash to L.A…

  2. if it was being tunneled under any other school the liberals would scream, but they don’t care about the children of BH