The City of Beverly Hills is looking to hear from residents on the planned Wilshire Boulevard/Rodeo Drive North Portal for the Metro Westside Purple Line Extension. The City Council is accepting comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which it released on Aug. 21. The public comment period is open through Oct. 5. The Council will also hear public comments and discuss the potential environmental impact of the proposed North Portal on Sept. 16 in a Virtual Special City Council Meeting.
The Purple Line Extension will bring the Purple Line from its current endpoint at Wilshire Blvd. and Western Avenue to a new station in Westwood. The project is being completed in three sections. Section one includes three new stations (Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, and Wilshire/La Cienega) and is expected to enter service in 2023. Section two includes stations at Wilshire/Rodeo and Century City/Constellation and is slated for completion in 2025. Section three connects the line to stations at Wilshire/Westwood and Wilshire/VA Hospital, which Metro expects to open in 2026.
The original plans included two stations in Beverly Hills on Wilshire/La Cienega and Wilshire/Rodeo. The Wilshire/Rodeo station, however, now has only one portal at the southwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Reeves Drive. In the interest of pedestrian safety and convenience, the City approached Metro in 2018 to provide a second portal to the Wilshire/Rodeo station on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard. The North Portal will also provide riders with a direct connection to the City’s Golden Triangle.
Specifically, the Draft EIR states: “The City seeks to provide enhanced passenger access to the Beverly Hills Business Triangle and minimize pedestrian crossings on Wilshire Boulevard, which is a prime local and regional destination and a key hub for tourism, shopping, and dining experiences bounded by North Santa Monica Boulevard to the north, Wilshire Boulevard to the south, and Crescent Drive to the east.”
The Draft EIR considers the possible environmental impact of three different proposed locations for the North Portal. The primary location under consideration is the west side of North Beverly Drive. Alternatively, the EIR floats the use of Canon Drive or the Canon Drive staging yard. The Canon Drive location would be located on the west side of Canon Drive by the Citibank and across the street from Spago. The Canon Drive staging yard option would make use of the empty lot on the north side of Canon, which Metro currently uses for storing equipment and machinery for construction of the Wilshire/Rodeo station. Each option includes two elevators, one stairway, and one escalator, all enclosed within a translucent glass exterior. The Canon staging yard location has the potential for adding a second escalator by expanding into an adjacent parcel, although that would necessitate acquiring more land by the City.
The virtual meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. Those interested in commenting on the EIR may submit their thoughts to NorthPortal@beverlyhills.org any time before October 5 at 5 p.m. All of the comments will be compiled and responded to in the Final EIR.
Comments may also be mailed to the following address:
Jessie Holzer, Transportation Planner
City of Beverly Hills Community Development Department
455 North Rexford Drive
Beverly Hills, California, 90210