The Exposition Construction Authority defended its Westside light rail line following a lawsuit by concerned neighbors that argues the authority failed to comply with state environmental-impact rules when certifying its plans.
A group called Neighbors for Smart Rail believes that the authority's environmental impact report for the recently approved Phase 2 of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica did not properly consider the effects having a street-level train and several traffic crossings would have on its neighbors.
Of course, the group's objections fit in well with those of NIMBY residents in Rancho Park and Cheviot Hills who have argued for years that the line should travel even further south -- away from their communities -- even though a convenient Exposition Boulevard right-of-way has existed for years just below those gilded neighborhoods.
(A former Cheviot Hills homeowners association president, Benjamin Cate, famously summed up the true colors of the rail line's opposition when he said, "Do you think the people who live in Cheviot Hills are going to take this bloody train? No, they are going to get in their cars. The people who are going to use this are the people who work in the hotels in Santa Monica, and they are going to come from the Hispanic areas nearer downtown. Now they take the bus.").
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Meanwhile, the authority states that it's "extremely disappointed that a small faction
of the community seeks to delay the extension of a project that has the overwhelming support of the communities on the Westside."
The authority seems prepared to fight:
"The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo Authority) is confident that the Phase 2 project complies fully with the California Environmental Quality Act and the Authority intends to defend the project vigorously. The Authority conducted many large-scale community meetings and well over one hundred additional key stakeholder briefings to discuss the alternatives that were studied and to obtain feedback from the public."