Sunday, August 24, 2008

And Your Point Is? Comparing Honolulu Rail to H-3 Just Another Way to Obfuscate Main Issue

Point | Counterpoint today examines another anti-rail letter that raises mock issues while never getting close to the important one – mobility for leeward side commuters.

The writer wants readers to be alarmed about something, but it’s hard to know about what. The letter doesn’t say why the involvement of some engineering personnel with both the H-3 highway project and Honolulu’s proposed rail system should be alarming.

Raising non-issues has become the SOP of the anti-rail faction because it’s safer than trying to defend their HOT Lane alternative to the rail system. HOT Lanes simply dump cars and buses right back into the traffic mix that the rail system will avoid completely.

Rail will separate commuters from surface traffic, and in doing so, it will restore mobility to thousands of commuters who choose to use it. The number of vehicles on surface streets and highways will be fewer with rail than without, so even non-riders will see a benefit.

Here’s an SOP we all can use in evaluating the quality of letters in the papers: Judge them by the solutions they propose to restore mobility. If there are none, you’ll know the letter is just another exercise in obfuscation.

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