Metro incites action both above and below ground

| March 2, 2023 | 0 Comments

METRO MINERS carve out a cross-passage to connect the twin tunnels as the D-Line subway continues expanding west toward Brentwood. Photo courtesy of Metro

Whether you build under ground or above, the issues facing the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) are formidable, which is why we were gladdened when just-elected mayor Karen Bass told us she was looking forward to joining the board of Metro to help tackle some of the challenges (many of the most current ones involving cleanliness and safety on buses and trains).

Miracle Mile

While denizens of the Miracle Mile and surroundings are looking forward to the “D” (formerly Purple) Line subway opening its Wilshire Boulevard stations at La Brea Avenue and at Fairfax Avenue in 2024, with the full extension to Westwood and the Veterans Administration site in Brentwood scheduled for completion in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics, other parts of town are still having debates about transit planning and whether rail transit should be above or below ground.

Bel Air

A widely circulated Valentine’s Day letter to elected officials and others, subsequently published as a guest commentary in the online “City Watch,” is titled “Facts about Tunnels Metro Doesn’t Want You to Know.” Written by Fred Rosen, a prominent retired businessman who lives in Bel Air and is active with the local residents’ group the Bel Air Association, the letter and article outline what he believes are issues facing the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project. This is Metro’s long-range planning project for a transit line to extend north from the D Line in Westwood and through or under the Sepulveda Pass to Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley. Metro suggests that this might be a project that could open in 2033-2035; Rosen says the mid-2040s is more realistic and still not likely. Options include an underground tunnel and an aboveground monorail.

“Believe it or not,” Rosen writes, the project “was conceived of in 2014 and a decision on the solution is not expected until 2025 — 11 years in the planning.”

He adds, “To be clear, the current CEO has been dealt a very difficult hand — it’s an entrenched bureaucracy seriously deep rooted and lost in 19th century technology — with no fear of being fired, held accountable or losing their job. To date — and I hope it changes — political oversight has meant that each politician’s district gets taken care of — and there has been little to no oversight of what an independent Board of Directors duties are in public companies — which is desperately needed here.”

To learn more of Rosen’s views about transit in the Westside, read the full article, published Feb. 13 on City Watch at

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