Tuesday, November 4, 2008

‘Community’ Isn’t Dead After All; Rail Survives Election Test as Oahu Voters Affirm Big Picture

With today’s victory at the polls (scroll to page 3), Honolulu’s rail system is closer than ever to becoming the long-sought alternative to sitting in traffic in Honolulu’s congested urban core – a goal envisioned by politicians as far back as the 1960s.

In 1966, then-Mayor Neal Blaisdell said:

“Taken in the mass, the automobile is a noxious mechanism whose destiny in workaday urban use is to frustrate man and make dead certain that he approaches his daily occupation unhappy and inefficient.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 24, 1966)

Thousands of today’s drivers who share Blaisdell’s dim view of car commuting can now anticipate with confidence a new commuting mode that will liberate them from their twice-daily grind behind the wheel.

The really heartening news in the election is that so many Oahu residents voted beyond their own self-interest in affirming the need for a multi-modal transportation system built around a core rail line.

Most residents won’t ride the train – that’s a given – so for “Yes” to win, the majority had to endorse the City’s message that rail will be an alternative to traffic congestion and will enhance the quality of life of all Oahu residents, not just those who live and work along its route.

As we said the day we launched this blog, rail makes sense for Oahu residents no matter where they live. Today’s vote showed that an absolute majority agrees.


Anonymous said...


Unfortunately the nay-sayers are still refusing to acknowledge the majority wants a rail-based mass-transit system.

sumwonyuno said...

Our voices have been heard!