Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Count the Ways to Submit Draft EIS Comments: In Writing, Online or at 1 of 5 Public Hearings

The flag is up and waving, so if you have comments to submit on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Honolulu Transit Project, now’s the time to act.

Written comments may be sent to the Department of Transportation Services, 650 South King Street, 3rd Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813. Comments must be received or postmarked by 4:30 p.m. on January 7, 2009.

Copies of the Draft EIS can be reviewed at State libraries, the City library, the Department of Transportation Services (at the above address) and at the Rapid Transit Division office, 1099 Alakea Street, Suite 1700. The Draft EIS is also available online.

The project website has additional content: a video guide to the Draft EIS and a computer-simulated fly through of the two alternative alignments covered in the Draft EIS; the Salt Lake alignment and the Airport alignment. Renderings of rail transit station characteristics will be added to the website in the coming days. Residents can request a free DVD with the Draft EIS, the video guide, computer simulations of both alignments and renderings of rail transit station characteristics by calling 566-2299 or visiting the website.

Other Things To Know

Here’s the schedule for public hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the City’s elevated transit system:

Dec. 6 – 9 to 11 a.m., Kapolei Hale, 1000 Uluohia Street.
Dec. 8 – 6 to 8 p.m., Hawaii Suites, Neal Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Avenue.
Dec. 9 – 6 to 8 p.m., Salt Lake District Park, 1159 Ala Lilikoi Place.
Dec. 10 – 6 to 8 p.m., Filipino Community Center, 94-428 Mokuola Street.
Dec. 11 – 6 to 8 p.m., Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice Street.

The entire Draft EIS is available at the project’s web site. The public comment period will remain open until January 7. The public comment period is mandated by federal and state laws. All comments received will be considered as the Final EIS is prepared by the FTA and the City. All substantive comments will be responded to in writing.

Regarding the Hearings

Persons wishing to speak at the hearings should sign up at the hearting site.

Elected and public officials will be heard first. Persons desiring to testify should register at the entrance to the hearing room, and will be called in order of registration.

Any individual may appear and speak for him or herself, or if duly authorized, for any local civic group, organization, club or association, subject to the rules provided below. Speakers should give their name and address. If representing a group, this information should also be given.

Speakers must limit their statements to three minutes. Additional prepared statements or literature, pertaining to the project, may be submitted at this hearing or through 4:30 p.m. January 7, 2009 to: Department of Transportation Services, 650 South King St., 3rd Floor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. These statements will be made part of the official record if they include a legible name and address.

For these hearings, all statements, oral or written, should be directed to the Hearing Official and must be related to the subject matter of the hearing.

Each person speaking before the audience must do so at the floor microphone. A court stenographer will record and transcribe the hearing procedures. If required, the Hearing Officer will announce any other specific rules governing the hearing.

As part of this public hearing process, the Honolulu Rail Transit Project Team is not allowed to respond to any questions or concerns raised by the speaker. The Project Team will be available to address questions in an area outside the hearing venue.

The meeting sites for the public hearings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Individuals requiring reasonable accommodation may request written materials in alternative formats, sign language, interpreters, physical accessibility accommodations, or other reasonable accommodations by calling (808) 566-2299 (voice) or e-mailing info@honolulutransit.org at least 48 hours prior to the planned hearing.

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