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  #1881  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by LAofAnaheim View Post
I hate it when CenturyCitySubway.org (a paid PR firm on behalf of BHHS) says "oh Metro is doing Constellation for developers"....that is utterly false!
It's not a bad thing. If developers are looking to capitalize on the new subway by providing high density around stations, that's definitely in the best interests of Metro and all Angelenos because it ensures high ridership at those stations. No influence-peddling or backroom deals needed.
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  #1882  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 6:33 AM
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It's not a bad thing. If developers are looking to capitalize on the new subway by providing high density around stations, that's definitely in the best interests of Metro and all Angelenos because it ensures high ridership at those stations. No influence-peddling or backroom deals needed.
The issue is that CenturyCitySubway.org (a paid PR firm on behalf of BHHS) is saying Constellation is only requested because developers are asking for it, which is FALSE. The people who live/work in Century City know what the center of Century City is...and it's an intersection surrounded by 4 corners of activity, not one that has two corners with a golf course. It was the people who spoke up about Constellation, not developers; unlike what CenturyCitySubway.org wants you to believe. If you attended the Metro meetings since 2007, you'll see..it was what WE wanted.
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  #1883  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 3:57 PM
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In DC, our subways go immediately adjacent or under schools, hospitals, universities, museums, and some of the region's most expensive neighborhoods and yet life not only manages to go on, but our region is thriving. At best, the reason for opposing the subway under Beverly Hills high school is NIMBYism.
From my experience in LA, these lawsuits are often basically a form of extortion. If someone wants to develop in your proximity, you've hit the lottery. The suing party just wants the defendant to pay them off so they'll go away and not hold up the process or make it even more expensive. No doubt in my mind that if Metro were to offer BH some cash for "terrorism mitigation" they would sign off on the proposal. In this instance, BH has such a weak case, I think they may fail and have to pay Metro's legal expenses that they brought forth.
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  #1884  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 6:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LAofAnaheim View Post
Pesto, you seem to be misguided by CenturyCitySubway.org (a paid PR firm on behalf of BHUSD). First of all, Metro NEVER committed to Santa Monica boulevard as a station. There was an Alternatives Analysis started in 2007 and the initial alignment looked at SM boulevard but left the option for Constellation. If you attended the Metro meetings and listened to advocates, PEOPLE (not business owners, as CenturyCitySubway.org mentions) WE wanted Constellation because it truly is the "center of the center" of Century City. Why would you want a station on the edge of Century City? Stand at both corners, where are the people walking?

So, when Beverly Hills say Metro "bamboozled" them into Constellation, that's utterly false. Constellation was looked at even 50 years ago, but the EIR docs were not completed until after Measure R.

This whole misconception that Metro is caving to "property owners at Constellation" is a far fetched lie by BH. If you ever worked in Century City, Constellation is "duh", that's where a station needs to be.

Also, again, the issue of SM blvd v. Constellation is now a moot point. All studies (Metro and BH) have noted that its safer to build a station at Constellation and not recommended for under SM blvd. Only options (from BH perspective) is an at-grade or elevated station at Century Park East and SM blvd or bypass Century City. Imagine if Metro bypasses Century City....who gets blamed? Metro or Beverly Hills 50 years into the future?

I'd rather see a lawsuit. Beverly Hills has 1) no merit b/c subway tunnels are under exisiting schools 2) all studies indicate Constellation is safer than SM blvd and 3) BH would try to change a precedent that could devastate BART, NYMTA, CTA, MBTA, etc.. any transit agency in North America. Lawsuit will be over in 3 years anyways (full lower court, appelate, and state supreme court). We won't even have the funds to build to Century City until 2020 anyways. BH will have to repay Metro for legal costs anyways; just like NSFR has now been ordered to by the lower courts and appelate court.
I had never heard of that site until you mentioned them. But I won't repeat my arguments, which I think are clear enough and in any event are coming into reality, which takes them out of the realm or arguments. Hopefully Purple gets approved and built as soon as possible.

Btw, have you noticed the press that MTA's latest opening is getting from pretty much everywhere: delays at stations, delays between stations, poor design, two stations not yet open, bad architecture, etc. Rather than worshipping the brilliance of these people you might want to ask some questions about their competence. I'm afraid we are going to be hearing a lot about it for the next few years.
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  #1885  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 6:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LAsam View Post
From my experience in LA, these lawsuits are often basically a form of extortion. If someone wants to develop in your proximity, you've hit the lottery. The suing party just wants the defendant to pay them off so they'll go away and not hold up the process or make it even more expensive. No doubt in my mind that if Metro were to offer BH some cash for "terrorism mitigation" they would sign off on the proposal. In this instance, BH has such a weak case, I think they may fail and have to pay Metro's legal expenses that they brought forth.
Not true. Litigation by citizens' groups is hardly ever a form of extortion; it is usually heartfelt, even if often wrong. Litigation from corporations and government institutions is often "extortion" (or "politics" if you prefer) in that it's sole purpose is to move money between major players, often at taxpayer expense.
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  #1886  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by pesto View Post
Not true. Litigation by citizens' groups is hardly ever a form of extortion; it is usually heartfelt, even if often wrong. Litigation from corporations and government institutions is often "extortion" (or "politics" if you prefer) in that it's sole purpose is to move money between major players, often at taxpayer expense.
Homeowner groups have delayed progress in LA. Remember NOBLAG (they gave us the slow Mariom Way segment on the Gold Line)? Remember FixExpo, which now we have a station at Farmdale? Look at the citizens groups that got the politican in the Valley to ban overground rail and now they got the Orange Line (and now blame Metro, when Metro was legally not allowed thanks to those "heartfelt" homeowner groups who screwed it up).

The majority of lawsuits that have damaged LA's transit progress is from homeowner groups. Thus, no sympathy on my end. People chose to live in one of the largest cities in the world. LA is not a suburb.
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  #1887  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 7:32 PM
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I had never heard of that site until you mentioned them. But I won't repeat my arguments, which I think are clear enough and in any event are coming into reality, which takes them out of the realm or arguments. Hopefully Purple gets approved and built as soon as possible.

Btw, have you noticed the press that MTA's latest opening is getting from pretty much everywhere: delays at stations, delays between stations, poor design, two stations not yet open, bad architecture, etc. Rather than worshipping the brilliance of these people you might want to ask some questions about their competence. I'm afraid we are going to be hearing a lot about it for the next few years.
Yes, but do you know the real reasons behind those delays? Farmdale (thanks to FixExpo and their misguided grade crossing fiasco). Flower street needs signal synchronization but LADOT wants to maintain a "Level of Service". The Regional Connector is needed to move trains faster through downtown (stopped by voters in 1998 after Prop A).

All these problems boil down to scared minority groups. I know you are not a fan of government; but there are good parts and bad parts. Not all government is bad. When you look at the real issue of "why" something is wrong, then it stems from a misunderstood minority group and not Metro or a government organization. It's easy to blindly blame government for everything (though some stuff is bad, but don't everybody be doing something bad at some point - corporations or people?); but there are good elements too.
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  #1888  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 5:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LAofAnaheim View Post
Homeowner groups have delayed progress in LA. Remember NOBLAG (they gave us the slow Mariom Way segment on the Gold Line)? Remember FixExpo, which now we have a station at Farmdale? Look at the citizens groups that got the politican in the Valley to ban overground rail and now they got the Orange Line (and now blame Metro, when Metro was legally not allowed thanks to those "heartfelt" homeowner groups who screwed it up).

The majority of lawsuits that have damaged LA's transit progress is from homeowner groups. Thus, no sympathy on my end. People chose to live in one of the largest cities in the world. LA is not a suburb.
Interesting to find out about your personal anger, but not relevant to anything. You suggested that neighborhood groups are looking for extortion. That's not true as you would see if you spent even 30 seconds talking to them. So arguing with them as if they were looking for extortion will be fruitless.
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  #1889  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 6:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LAofAnaheim View Post
Yes, but do you know the real reasons behind those delays? Farmdale (thanks to FixExpo and their misguided grade crossing fiasco). Flower street needs signal synchronization but LADOT wants to maintain a "Level of Service". The Regional Connector is needed to move trains faster through downtown (stopped by voters in 1998 after Prop A).

All these problems boil down to scared minority groups. I know you are not a fan of government; but there are good parts and bad parts. Not all government is bad. When you look at the real issue of "why" something is wrong, then it stems from a misunderstood minority group and not Metro or a government organization. It's easy to blindly blame government for everything (though some stuff is bad, but don't everybody be doing something bad at some point - corporations or people?); but there are good elements too.
It's also funny how any comment made that govt. should try to do better is met by the comment that I must be anti-governement. Let me be clear: urban transit must be run by government; it is a subsidized service run for the benefit of the entire city, serving businesses and personal purposes.

But that doesn't have to mean you turn into a sheep bleating out that it's the NIMBY's that caused the problem. Everybody knows that there are NIMBY's in every city and district in the country. One of the GOALS of proper political management is to AVOID these problems. If you don't avoid or minimize the problems (e.g., by sorting out the key issues from the smaller ones) you have already lost and need to be replaced. (Btw, this is true of any business, non-profit, sports team, club, PTA, whoever).

I'm also having some trouble figuring out how you blame the NIMBY's for the design and architecture shortcomings, the Culver City station not opening, the lack of grade separation, the car that was crushed, etc. These may or may not be MTA's fault, but they are hired to deal with these problems and the NIMBY's wouldn't seem to care either way.
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  #1890  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 8:02 PM
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The case with Beverly Hills, pesto, is that the science has been proven by Metro (Lucy Jones is the #1 seismologist the US government works with; all was substianted by her) and if you read the reports prepared for BH, they each say that SM boulevard should be avoided and Constellation is safer. The hysteria in BH is now due to emotions with no pure logic. Each report says they can still build 70 feet below underground with the subway tunnel below.

So if the school board was really concerned about safety, they would stop this "put a subway tunnel under SM boulevard" nonsense, which is actually more unsafe than tunneling. They're actually promoting greater danger for the LA region.

Now, Metro's options are this 1) go to Constellation boulevard (which is a station supported by THOUSANDS) or 2) entirely bypass Century City and then look 50 years down the road and blame Metro for not going to Century City (people will forget BH, like they forgot the taxi unions at LAX with the Green Line). Blame Metro for any and everything.

What would you rather have?

Also, for the public hearing next Thursday, BH already announced their bringing lawyers, while Metro will have scientists. So wouldn't you conclude this group of BH people are obstructionist if they're trying to throw everything by law to stop this needed station? Or you still think Metro can work something out? If Metro succumbs, we lose Century City or we get another 4 year EIR process on an outskirt station of Century City that avoids the high school? So yes, in some cases, homeowner groups are the reason to blame for unneeded delays in projects that thousands and thousands of Angelenos are demanding.
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  #1891  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 4:28 AM
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But that doesn't have to mean you turn into a sheep bleating out that it's the NIMBY's that caused the problem. Everybody knows that there are NIMBY's in every city and district in the country. One of the GOALS of proper political management is to AVOID these problems. If you don't avoid or minimize the problems (e.g., by sorting out the key issues from the smaller ones) you have already lost and need to be replaced. (Btw, this is true of any business, non-profit, sports team, club, PTA, whoever).
So the rest of the county that voted for Measure R don't deserve to get the best bang for their buck by spending money where the higher ridership is, resulting in higher revenue?

Numbers are numbers. It's that simple.

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I'm also having some trouble figuring out how you blame the NIMBY's for the design and architecture shortcomings, the Culver City station not opening, the lack of grade separation, the car that was crushed, etc. These may or may not be MTA's fault, but they are hired to deal with these problems and the NIMBY's wouldn't seem to care either way.
I believe the contractor was responsible for the delays there.
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  #1892  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 6:12 PM
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So the rest of the county that voted for Measure R don't deserve to get the best bang for their buck by spending money where the higher ridership is, resulting in higher revenue?

Numbers are numbers. It's that simple.



I believe the contractor was responsible for the delays there.
Just some last comments:

Well, who hired the contractors? It's part of MTA's job to hire good contractors. It's like the army saying we lost the war because we bought bad guns.

Again, if there is a true safety issue, I agree with MTA's position. But then they have to explain why they approved the location and then changed their minds. Otherwise, I am personally netural between the locations, just want to get the project done.

The "numbers" are inventions; "made up". These are not "facts" they are at best predictions or judgements. Judgements coming from parties hired by an interested party are not persuasive in court. The stations are 1 block apart and MTA is on public record asserting there is no economic difference between them.

Blame the NIMBY's, blame the contractors, blame bad drivers, blame dumb pedestrians, blame other departments. Not the sign of a well-run organization. But definitely the sign of someone who is going to attract political or press attention.
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  #1893  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 6:15 AM
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The "numbers" are inventions; "made up". These are not "facts" they are at best predictions or judgements. Judgements coming from parties hired by an interested party are not persuasive in court. The stations are 1 block apart and MTA is on public record asserting there is no economic difference between them.
It's not terribly relevant, but I just have to point out what utter nonsense this statement is. Of course judgments coming from experts hired by interested parties are persuasive in court. In fact, judgments coming from experts hired by interested parties are the only evidence that is heard in court. The parties to a case are the only people entitled to present evidence in court, and the experts they hire to testify for them don't work for free.
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  #1894  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 9:38 PM
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L.A. Tries Bringing Subway to Land of Maseratis


05/03/2012

By Josh Stephens

Read More: http://americancity.org/daily/entry/...d-of-maseratis

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.....

For the past two years, Tom Cruise’s hometown has claimed that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) is imposing itself on a powerless little berg. Civic leaders have described it as David vs. Goliath, with Metro as the Goliath. Residents confined to 10,000-square-foot mansions, and condemned to navigate Los Angeles traffic in such mean conveyances as Maseratis and Aston-Martins, have launched all manner of epithet against the transportation authority.

- The concern? That the subway’s planned passage through a tunnel under Beverly Hills High School will make the swank public school a destination for terrorists, or potentially, a tinderbox prone to deadly explosion. In short, the city that inspired a million Tudor-style McMansions is blocking the transit authority’s plans with a demand that it reroute the subway extension to avoid running below the high school that inspired everyone’s favorite bit of 1990s high school television greatness. The city has requested a special hearing in front of the Metro board before the alignment is approved. The meeting is as-yet unscheduled.

- For the past two years, debate about the subway has been the loudest conversation in Beverly Hills since the trial of Lindsay Lohan. Though Metro has held innumerable public meetings on the proposed subway dating back to at least 2006, it wasn’t until late 2010 that civic leaders raised concerns that some of the 17 alignments that Metro had published in its Alternatives Analysis might pose a problem. Originally, the most clear and present danger — articulated by then-School Board President Lisa Korbotov — was that terrorists would use the subway to blow up the school. This premise relied on the assumption that terrorists would not only still be agitated decades from now, but also that they would be able to smuggle onto the train a small explosive device powerful enough to rip through several feet of concrete tunnel and travel upward through 50 feet of earth.

.....



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  #1895  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 9:49 PM
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It's not terribly relevant, but I just have to point out what utter nonsense this statement is. Of course judgments coming from experts hired by interested parties are persuasive in court. In fact, judgments coming from experts hired by interested parties are the only evidence that is heard in court. The parties to a case are the only people entitled to present evidence in court, and the experts they hire to testify for them don't work for free.
Sounds like you watched part of a Law and Order episode; not a very good one.

Expert witnesses provide a part of the evidence in trials. But the real workings of the trial take place outside of a courtroom. This is where the lawyers make their money, tediously and repeatedly cross-examining the experts, seeking their internal documents and communications, finding out what their historic prejudices and failures have been (this is easy to do since most areas have established "plantiff experts" and "defendant experts" who earn their fees by agreeing with whoever hired them. Eventually contradictions and weaknesses emerge.

The same process is applied to the party that hired the expert. Then you ask the expert what they think of some of their employer's conclusions and vice-versa. Soon they are contradicting and criticizing each other. Sometimes one side finds a smoking gun and the other side settles. More often, senior management eventually gets wind of the contradictions and weaknesses of his case and the costs hitting the budgets and order their mid-level managers to settle. No trial room, or jury or judge anywhere around; this would be months or years later, if it ever happens.

In the rare case where you actually go to trial, the experts are normally left looking like buffoons and the judge has to fall back on other methods for reaching a decision. You can always hope, but most (95 percent) are unwilling to risk the uncertainty and settle before trial.
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  #1896  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 11:36 PM
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This is where the lawyers make their money, tediously and repeatedly cross-examining the experts
Deposing. Cross-examination happens during a trial.
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  #1897  
Old Posted May 7, 2012, 4:18 AM
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In the rare case where you actually go to trial, the experts are normally left looking like buffoons and the judge has to fall back on other methods for reaching a decision. You can always hope, but most (95 percent) are unwilling to risk the uncertainty and settle before trial.
What other methods do judges and juries use to reach their decision oh wise and knowledgeable legal expert? What evidence are judges and juries allowed to consider besides what is submitted to them by the parties? Do we encourage them to do outside research now? Is that why there are multiple stories a week about mistrials and appeals being granted because it turns out that someone was using the internet on a smartphone inappropriately during a trial?
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  #1898  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 9:10 PM
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This is the BH high school solution!
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  #1899  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Kind of a dumb question, but does anyone know where I can find a transit map of LA with all the existing, currently under construction and approved future rail lines? Just wanna get an idea of what the city will look like in 20 years or so transit-wise.
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  #1900  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Kind of a dumb question, but does anyone know where I can find a transit map of LA with all the existing, currently under construction and approved future rail lines? Just wanna get an idea of what the city will look like in 20 years or so transit-wise.
I know this is a big map, but unfortunately it's the only size available on the SFCityscape website. Here's a direct link to a more manageable PDF version. For me, the biggest change I'd like to see on this map is the addition of the pink line through West Hollywood (my preferred routing).

Last edited by OhioGuy; May 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM.
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