Can L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa just admit the pending Westside Subway extension, formerly known as the “Subway to the Sea” (or, even more optimistically, “the most utilized subway in the nation, maybe the world”), is permanently on hold?

Every time he visits Washington, which is likely more than he visits South L.A., Mayor V makes this warm fuzzy speech about our city's cutting-edge public transportation plans —

Namely, the Westside Subway extension. Meanwhile, here at home, Beverly Hills residents would rather feed their princess chihuahuas to mountain lions than let that beast of a hobo-mobile come through, and L.A. traffic experts/bus riders aren't so much buying his spiel, either.

So the mayor runs back to Washington for more warm fuzzies. But as of yesterday, even his fallback seems to be crumbling:

The Republican majority of U.S. legislators are completely uninterested in hearing his plea for federal money — cash he's long assumed to be in the bag, under subway-happy Obama.

“Unfortunately, after a few weeks of trying, we were unable to get a meeting with Speaker Boehner,” Villaraigosa told the Los Angeles Times yesterday. “They couldn't find time to meet with America's mayors.”

What did he expect? A surprise party with a jumbo blank check?

Unless Villaraigosa can rally right-wing support for this 30/10 plan — the only plan in which the subway will be completed within roughly the next decade — his hugely touted modern masterwork won't be completed until 2036.

And given the Republican stance on rampant spending and green granting right now, even if Boehner was giving him the time of day, Villaraigosa's request that the feds front the money for his pet project is a serious long-shot.

So can we stop parading this $9 billion beached whale around like some kind of beacon of hope for economic recovery? If we're waiting on the Westside Subway as the big genius answer for unemployment, might as well just descend into our porn bunkers now and wait for the end.


LA Weekly