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Westside Neighborhood Council Backs Constellation Subway Station

The panel votes to support the stop rather than one proposed for Santa Monica Boulevard.

The Westside Neighborhood Council voted Thursday to support building a subway station at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars as part of the Purple Line extension.

Nine council members favored the Constellation stop as opposed to a station proposed for Santa Monica Boulevard. Three members abstained after hearing the proposal from Susan Bursk, president of the Century City Chamber of Commerce.

Bursk told the council that more than 27,000 employees work within a one-quarter mile radius of the proposed stop on Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars. That's about three times as many people who work within a quarter mile of the proposed Santa Monica Boulevard station, Bursk said. Constellation Boulevard is one block south of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Bursk acknowledged that the proposed station would likely require digging a tunnel under Beverly Hills High School, an option the Beverly Hills Unified School District strongly opposes.

“The tunnel will be located so far underground that no building or modernization project will ever come close to it,” she wrote in a packet given to council members.

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In other business, the council voted 11 to 0 with one abstention to support WNC member Mike Eveloff’s request to ask the city attorney to study the feasibility of implementing a borough system in Los Angeles. Eveloff said the city might benefit by dividing into smaller, mostly autonomous boroughs. 

“There’s a lot to this,” Eveloff said. “This is not something you study in a week.”

The council also voted 8 to 0 with four abstentions to ask Metro to make the proposed bike path along the Exposition Corridor rail line more friendly for riders by raising it above street level when possible.

Resident Jonathan Weiss said that, under the current plan, the bike path drops to street level at some intersections, even when the train crosses on a bridge. He asked that Metro consider building bridges for riders for safety reasons. 

“It’s hard for bikes,” he said. “It’s going to be at least as bad for cars. It’s not going to be pleasant for anyone.”

Also on Thursday, the council heard from Lisa Mowery, acting chief financial officer for the Bureau of Sanitation. Mowery warned about the city’s antiquated sewer system. She said the bureau would require a rate increase of about $32 annually per household for each of the next 10 years.

John Mirisch August 16, 2011 at 07:15 PM
The available figures are those in the DEIR. Will new ones come which support the pre-ordained decision? As I've written on Huffpost, yes, most likely. By the way, I'm not a slick and polished professional politician, I'm just a resident who ran for office and is trying to represent his City. I had a blog before I was on the Council, and as one of my past colleagues remarked, "Once a blogger, always a blogger." Personally, I think it's better for elected representatives to actively engage in issues rather than simply distance themselves from their neighbors and the community they're trying to represent.
John Mirisch August 16, 2011 at 07:48 PM
So there is more concern about tunneling under a cemetery with dead people than a school with real, live children? How does this make any sense at all? There are all kinds of laws in the US. It's illegal to chain your alligator to a fire hydrant in Alabama. In Chico, CA, you can be fined $500 for detonating a nuclear device within city limits. In Marietta, GA, though it's illegal to spit from a bus or a car, it's perfectly legal to do so from a truck. As they say in Sweden: "If you say A, you have to say B." If it's perfectly safe to tunnel under schools, churches, baseball diamonds and pizza parlors, then why would it be unsafe to tunnel under a cemetery? The UCLA/Westwood station is closer to the VA -- which itself is getting a station -- than the heart of the UCLA campus. UCLA itself likely doesn't want to lose its parking revenue, but the station as planned doesn't and won't serve the campus. If people won't walk a single block in Century City, then how can anyone reasonably expect them to walk a mile in Westwood? As Susan Bursk says, "We have one chance to get it right." A UCLA/Westwood station which is closer to the VA than to UCLA is not "getting it right."
Carol Spencer August 16, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Mr Mirisch, I did not make the law about cemeteries. I merely stated the law. You need to take the discussion up with our forefathers or persons whose dearly beloved are buried in those cemeteries about changing this law.
John Mirisch August 17, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Ms. Spencer, I'm guessing you also didn't make the laws about chaining alligators to fire hydrants, detonating nuclear devices in Chico or spitting from trucks in Marietta either. But you still haven't answered the question about why tunneling under a cemetery is worse than tunneling under a school.
Jolie Jashni August 19, 2011 at 03:20 PM
Regardless of my position on the matter, I appreciate John Mirisch's participation here. Personally, I want to hear from, and hopefully dialogue with, those who have more direct influence on the matter. If only we could have this type of dialogue with more in the government.

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