Here’s the pertinent passage from the Advertiser’s story today:
Of course, the other thing people may say to the Governor if she refuses to sign the FEIS is, “What were you thinking when you stopped this project after all the effort and study that’s been put into it? And how could you possibly conclude that the alternatives hadn’t been fully analyzed or that we couldn’t afford it?”
We leave the political analysis to the newspaper columnists, but isn't the Governor saying what she has to say? She can't sign off without making statements like this, so the no-rubber-stamp pledge raises no eyebrows.
Imagining a Legacy
The Governor says she plans to be around Hawaii for quite some time, and that future presumably will be in politics. The only way “up” for her is to the United States Senate, and it’s hard to see how blocking a project backed by a solid majority of Oahu residents (where most of the votes are) could do her any good.
She certainly doesn’t want to be remembered as this century’s Rene Mansho, the Honolulu City Council member who cast the deciding vote in 1992 against the proposed rail transit tax that would have provided the local contribution for Mayor Frank Fasi’s fixed guideway project.
So let’s see how this plays out. We have to believe the Governor will conclude that the alternatives to an elevated project – alternatives that were thoroughly vetted, notwithstanding the anti-rail crowd’s assertions – all are inferior to the City’s plan.
Grade-separated transit is the only travel mode that completely avoids traffic congestion, which is why it's the only way to achieve the project's goals of providing fast, frequent and reliable transportation. It therefore is the only mode that allows you to predict your time of arrival. As we like to say here, that’s why they call it a timetable!