It looked like the fine folks of Beverly Hills had a little momentum in their opposition to a subway running under their public high school.
As we reported, Metro bent its planned Westside subway extension so that it would stop under a planned high rise being built by a contributor to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose allies hold sway on the Metro board. The Beverly Hills Courier newspaper even went so far as to suggest that the developer will see millions from Metro for its stop under his property.
Well, that didn't last long. Let the backlash begin:
A video spoofing the gilded city's residents as NIMBY Beverly Hillbillies hit YouTube this week:
It argues that B.H. doesn't want the rail project altogether, which isn't true: The city has supported the original route along Santa Monica Boulevard, and the City Council hasn't made an official stance.
Still, the piece depicts Hills residents as provincial xenophobes who are against public transportation. Again, not true: Metro buses dissect the city every which way, from Wilshire Boulevard to La Cienega Boulevard.
We will allow them this, however: Arguments against the route that would run under Beverly Hills High School — that methane below the campus could cause explosions, as seen in this much-laughed-at doomsday video, or that a Santa Monica stop instead of the central Century City one near BHHS would bring more riders — are wearing thin.
Plain and simple: Beverly Hills just doesn't want the thing rumbling under its high school.
But ask yourself this: If this were an extension running under the high school of a more impoverished, Latino-majority city like Bell, how do you think the story would be framed?