Beverly Hills News
City Eyeing $350,000 For Subway Fight
By Daniel Antolin
Jul 5, 2011 - 12:27:14 AM

Westside Subway Extension Project. Photo Courtesy of Metro
BEVERLY HILLS—The Beverly Hills City Council is scheduled on Thursday, July 7 to discuss devoting $350,000 from the 2011-12 budget due to a possible fight against the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) if its board decides in the late fall to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School and other portions of the city to extend subway service.

Earmarking of this money is part of a recommendation that will be made at a study session meeting by the Beverly Hills City Council's Legislative Committee, which is comprised of Vice Mayor William W. Brien and Councilmember John A. Mirisch. A second part of the recommendation includes directing city staff to identify any funds that were not spent from the 2010-11 budget so that it could be quickly utilized.

If the council sets aside $350,000, it would be devoted to paying legal services, public relations and consulting firms, in addition to experts in the fields of tunneling and geotechnics. It was announced at a June 21 meeting that the city had retained Arnie Berghoff and Associates and the Ferguson Group to develop an advocacy plan. Shannon & Wilson, Inc. was retained to analyze MTA geotechnical studies. The Beverly Hills Unified School District has taken similar measures to fight the subway project.

Were the recommendation to be approved, the $350,000 would represent a first quarter allocation that could be increased in subsequent quarters if deemed necessary. In addition, unused funds taken from city programs would later be returned.

As part of the Westside Subway Extension, the MTA is currently considering tunneling toward three different proposed subway stations in an effort to extend subway service from the Purple Line station located at Hollywood and Western avenues toward the Westside. The stations would be located in Century City either at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, or Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East.

The city prefers the Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars route because it would not entail tunneling under Beverly Hills High School, Lasky Drive, the school district's office and four homes. These are the portions of city property that residents are concerned would be put at risk if the MTA chooses the Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars route.

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