Many Rodeo Drive merchants seem to believe the biggest threat to their businesses is not migrant workers, outsourcing, or the poor economy. Nor is it competition posed by competing high-end shopping hotspots such as Palms. Nay, this enemy is a beast to be reckoned with, and some merchants claim it will irreparably damage the luxe way of life on Rodeo Drive. What is this monster, you ask? One that afflicts every major city worldwide: public transit.
That’s right, more than 20 merchants from the Rodeo Drive area are up in arms about a proposed Westside subway stop. While some have tangible reasons for opposing the stop, like Douglas Chrismas, whose gallery may have to be bought out to make way for the Golden Triangle station, most are afraid that the type of people who would come from the subway would drive away high-end clientele and increase theft.
Another merchant fears what the presence of the subway crowd will do to the aesthetics and cleanliness of the area, citing the single Golden Triangle bus stop that is consistently littered with debris.
Others see the installation of a subway stop will be a good thing because it will alleviate some of the hassle of finding a parking spot. Many of the hourly employees at these high-end stores drive to work and therefore take up parking spots that would otherwise be used by customers, most of whom also drive to the area in limousines or their own cars. With a subway stop, employees will be able to take public transit to work and will thus leave more parking spots open to shoppers. Employees and shoppers alike will also save money on gas and reduce their carbon footprint by taking the subway to the area instead of driving.
So with both sides of the issue adamant on their points of view, the subway war wages on with no end in sight.