Beverly Hills Sues to Stop Subway Tunnel Under School

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) -- Beverly Hills school officials have filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It's the latest move in a long fight over a planned subway under Beverly Hills.

The lawsuit, filed under state environmental laws, says that MTA officials refused to seriously consider other route options that the city preferred.

Last week, the MTA Board of Directors approved plans to dig a tunnel under Beverly Hills High School as part of the extension of the Purple Line.

The 'Subway to the Sea' project would extend the Purple Line nine miles towards Los Angeles' westside.

The city of Beverly Hills says that plan is dangerous because there's methane gas underneath the school as well as abandoned oil wells.

It wants to see the subway built underneath Santa Monica Boulevard instead. At a minimum, officials say they want to see more scientific studies.

The Beverly Hills High School PTA produced a dramatic YouTube video warning of methane explosions that could result from tunneling beneath the school.

In the video, the narrator says the subway would turn the school into a "mega-disaster."

However, those who support the plan have their own YouTube video that makes fun of Beverly Hills for standing in the way of progress.

The song, set to a country music tune, includes the lyrics: "MTA, get off our lawns, cause Beverly Hills is happy watching the rest of the world move on."

The song also quips, "MTA, get off our case. Don't make us into a tunnel-digging, school kid-killing place."

Metro officials have consistently maintained that the plan can be carried out safety and without disrupting the campus.

They say improvements in tunneling practices have all but eliminated the chance of igniting methane and putting students in danger.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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