Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We’re Back! The Six-Month Break at Yes2Rail Brings Us to the Doorstep of Groundbreaking

“Doorstep” may be pushing it a little, because the schedule to break ground on the Honolulu rail project is still by the end of this year. Let's just say we got a little carried away to be writing about our favorite stimulus package again.

The last words we dropped into this space were about the two closures of the H-1 freeway over the preceding weekend that totaled 15 hours. That’s a lot of down time for the only relatively speedy east-west route through Honolulu.

And that brings us back again to the primary reason this project was conceived, designed and will be built – mobility. We’ve lost it in Honolulu because there’s literally no way you can start a journey across town today and be assured you’ll arrive at your destination on time.

That’s a rough definition of mobility – the ability to accurately predict your time of arrival. Rail will give us predictable arrival times (on a timetable), day in and day out.

Starting the Conversation

And that brings us to the persistent grumblings in some quarters about the three-year-old decision to build a grade-separated transit system here. We’ll occasionally use this blog to tick off the many reasons why at-grade transit won’t work in Honolulu.

But we won’t dwell on it today. There are more positive things to write about, such as the jobs this project will generate once it gets underway, just when Honolulu needs them.

Glad to be back, rail fans, and if you happen to hear some of those grumblings, you might engage in this converation:

You: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Grumbler: Yes, sir.
You: Are you listening?
Grumbler: Yes, I am.
You: Mobility.

The return look you get may be as blank as Benjamin Braddock's in "The Graduate," but at least you'll be talking -- and that's a good thing.

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