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Come on Expo, Light My FEIR

February 5, 2010

You’re probably looking at this picture and thinking, “what a beautiful abandoned railway”. But it will be gone soon; the Expo Board of Directors have voted 6-0 (with one abstention) to ratify the Expo Line FEIR (final environmental impact report), which will replace this cozy little train track with a fully functional modern light rail line. Try to take this same picture in five years, and you’re likely to get smacked upside the backside by a train heading for Downtown.

That is, unless “smart rail” advocates get their way. The Neighbors For Smart Rail group is apparently planning a lawsuit to alter the course of the line’s construction. Steve Hymon of Metro’s Source has more:

It remains unclear how such a lawsuit would impact construction of the Expo Line. But residents said that if such a suit was filed they would likely seek an injunction to stop construction until the report is redone to their satisfaction.

So, if the courts side with these smarties over Metro, they will get to reshape the line “to their satisfaction”. Are there any legal limits to how far off course their satisfaction can take the line? More to come on that, but there are certainly plenty of wealthy westsiders who would love to divert the train to the much slower Venice-Sepulveda route, or kill it entirely. NFSR claims they simply wish to see the line built underground in their neighborhoods, but it’s entirely possible that they are in fact planning to weigh the line down with unnecessary costs in hopes that it never gets built.

Will the Expo Line run through Cheviot, or will the smarties get to keep their beautiful abandoned train tracks intact? We shall see.

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