Westside Homeowners Sue to Stop EXPO Construction
October 24, 2012
State Supreme Court Reviews Case
By Stephen Hadland
Neighbors for Smart Rail (NFSR), a coalition of Westside homeowners, has filed for a stay on construction of Metro’s light rail's extension from Culver City to Santa Monica.
In opposing the stay Metro’s response to the California Supreme Court claimed, “A one-year stay will cause damages to the public of $90 million or more, have enormous adverse effects on the residents of Los Angeles.” They went on to say the stoppage would cost “thousands of jobs.”
The homeowners suit, currently under review by the state high court, accuses the Expo Authority of not preparing a proper environmental review of the trains’ impact on its neighborhood. NFSR has argued that if construction is finished before the court rules the damage would be irreversible.
On their website NFSR contend the following:
1 Running 240 trains a day at street level (at-grade) through residential communities within 50 feet of schools and homes, blocking access to parks and businesses, and grid-locking north/south streets is unacceptable.
2. Stations and parking lots have the highest crime rates in transit environments—our community will have two stations with parking lots, at Westwood and Sepulveda, less than ½ mile apart, operating 22 hours a day.
3. Expo Phase 2 misses all major Westside job centers from Culver City to Santa Monica and in WLA as it travels through mostly residential neighborhoods. The Expo Light Rail will benefit Santa Monica development and it will be a developer's feast on the already congested Westside R
4. The Metro Grade Separation Policy is a fraud. It is predisposed to putting all rail crossings at grade.
5. Lack of political representation has undermined the legitimate community safety, traffic, and quality of life concerns on Expo.
6. The fully underground "subway to the sea" is a better option. It will connect downtown and the valley with the Wilshire Corridor, Korea Town, Museum Row, Hancock Park, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood, UCLA, the Veteran Administration, Santa Monica and hundreds of thousand people and jobs in between.
7. LA needs mass transit but not so desperately that we are required, as Santa Monica is asking, to "lean in and take one for the team." Santa Monica is not on our team. West Los Angeles is a place. It is not a satellite of Culver City, Beverly Hills or Santa Monica
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Exposition and Metro Line Construction Authority filed papers in opposition to the stay on Monday.
The first segment of the Expo from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City opened in June and construction of the final segment to Santa Monica is well under way with completion scheduled for 2016.
All lower court rulings have so far favored the MTA, however NFSR appealed the rulings to the state Supreme Court.
More information on NFSR can be found on: http://www.smartrail.org/smartrail.org/Welcome.html