Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rail Will Reduce Number of Traffic Delay Hours

What is so hard to understand about that statement? With rail, the number of hours drivers are delayed in traffic 10 or 20 years from now will be lower than if rail weren’t built. With rail, there will be fewer cars on the road than if rail weren’t built. With rail, driving from one end of town to the other will require less time than if rail weren’t built.

A presumably tiny but oh-so outraged segment of the community would have you believe the City was pulling a fast one in its pro-rail arguments last year. They want you to believe the City was suggesting traffic congestion would be less after the rail line is completed than it is today!

Excuse me? Does anyone believe that could possibly be true – or that the City would claim it to be true?

Oahu’s population in 2030 is forecast to be 200,000 higher than it was in 2005. That's been the City's forecast all along. With population growth comes increased traffic congestion – that’s a given – and the way to reduce congestion from what it would logically grow to be is to expand the City’s transportation network to take some of those future drivers off the road, i.e., build the rail system!

That’s what the City has said in its information campaign about rail – NOT that congestion would be less than it is today. Anyone suggesting otherwise has motives that deserve full and complete examination by the media and public – such as being anti-rail in the first place and incapable of accepting the November election’s pro-rail results.


Anonymous said...

Right on! Let's get past the shibai put forward by the rail haters and start building the rail system. The sooner we can break ground the sooner we can get this built!

sumwonyuno said...

I have heard an inordinate amount of times where anti-railers have said that traffic in the future "will be worse, with rail", which is a complete deception because of that wording. Then they go on to the HOT lane/busway proposal, but I've never heard their most visible leaders say their plans solves traffic congestion either.

In order to reduce vehicle congestion on our roadways, reducing the number of, or at least reducing the growth rate of more vehicles, needs to be done. Continuing today's situation into tomorrow, building a new highway or just expanding buses, isn't as efficient as the proposed rail.

I have noticed real differences between the for and against rail camps. The facts on the pro-rail side have examinable and verifiable information that has been vetted for the past 3-4 years (e.g. AA, DEIS). On the other hand, I'd like to see any engineering drawings for a HOT lane or busway (Phileas) system by the anti-rail side.

The pro-rail side has baselines (2005 vs 2030). This is important, because I do not see consistency on the other side. For example, one study by Dr. Prevedouros compared today's situation with today's situation if grade-separated intersections were implemented today.

Also, Doug, got any updates on the Ala Moana questions I asked? I'll try another stab at the DEIS to see if I missed the answer to my question.

Doug Carlson said...

Good points. The "impeach" crowd has a long record of disseminating misinformation about rail.

I regret to not having obtained answers to your earlier Ala Moana Center questions, sumwonyuno, and I'll follow up again with those who can help.

Doug Carlson said...

Sumwonyuno, I have a response to your question and hope you can locate it here.

The present design has the Ala Moana station as a low-rise structure. It is being designed to accommodate a third track that will be connected to the lower track in the vicinity of Pensacola and Queen Streets. The intent of the design allows construction of the third track without demolishing the original trackway or station.

The University and Waikiki branches will operate as shuttles with a transfer station connection at Ala Moana above the original station. This will be a simple escalator or elevator trip between platforms and will provide easy transfer to either Waikiki or the University.

Hope that clears it up for you -- and that you found this response! Aloha ~Doug

sumwonyuno said...

Wow thanks Doug! Though, for the UHM and Waikiki extensions, will they be served by trains that only run on those extensions (having to transfer @ Ala Moana to continue) or will those trains be able to serve the rest of the line (same train to each extension's end).

This all sounds more complicated than a "single" line with extensions. I really am curious how all of the trains and their schedules would work once the system is built (not that I'm asking for another favor Doug!)

Doug Carlson said...

sumwonyuno, from what I understand, the future Waikiki and UH extensions will run on a guideway(s) not directly tied in with the guideway that serves communities to the west. Passengers coming from the west will use escalators and elevators to go up to the departure platform.