The hearing requested by the city of Beverly Hills on the Century City station location for the Westside Subway Extension has now concluded. As expected, the Board of Directors did not take any action on selecting a route for the subway and station location in Century City.
The basic dispute: In order to avoid active earthquake fault zones under Santa Monica Boulevard, Metro staff are recommending a subway route under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus to reach a Century City station at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars.
Beverly Hills officials oppose that route, saying it could harm students and would hinder future underground development at the school. Metro says that tunneling can be done safely and would not interfere with future development.
Most of the hearing was dedicated to presentations by Beverly Hills’ consultants, who disputed many of Metro’s studies.
Among their points: There was evidence of faults on the West Beverly Hills Lineament under the Beverly Hills High School campus but no evidence of the faults being active for at least 100,000 years; that more seismic studies are needed to determine if the Constellation station would be in an active fault zone; that the Santa Monica Fault may be inactive; and that ridership would be higher for a station under Santa Monica Boulevard in the long-term due to redevelopment and riders transferring from buses.
In addition, Beverly Hills officials also distributed schematics showing three alternative routes to reach a Constellation station. All of the routes would involve tunneling under Santa Monica Boulevard until the tunnels swing south around Century Park East. An attorney for Beverly Hills also said that if the Metro Board selects a route under the high school, litigation could result and delay the subway project.
Metro did not call any witnesses. The agency instead submitted its previously published studies on the Westside Subway Extension — all of which the agency stands behind.
The hearing concluded without time for comments from the public. Those who signed up to speak at the hearing today will be allowed to provide their comments at a special meeting that will held along with the next regular Metro Board meeting on May 24 at 9:00 a.m. That is the earliest that the Board could decide this matter, as well as the remainder of the subway alignment.
Here are Metro’s responses to Beverly Hills’ reports: