Friday, December 11, 2009

Story Criticizes Opinion Poll w/out Giving Results; Phoenix Readers Comment on At-Grade Accidents

Today’s Honolulu Advertiser takes a swipe at the opinion poll conducted in September on Oahu residents’ views about the rail project. You can read those strongly positive results in an earlier post here at Yes2Rail.

The story implies impropriety by the City or project contractor Parsons Brinkerhoff because polling company QMark isn’t listed as a subcontractor to PB. Incredibly, the story makes the same “charge” about the owners of the three local TV stations that carried the Mayor’s “State of Rail” address in late October.

It’s obvious that QMark, Raycom Media Inc. and MCG Capital Corp. are not PB subcontractors, yet the reporter goes out of his way to suggest something improper about their absence from PB’s subcontractor list. He then ends his story by quoting the City Council's loudest anti-rail member who naturally voices yet another complaint.

This is high school journalism at best – a classic “view with alarm” story about a wholly innocent situation yet is reported with a slant that implies impropriety.

The kicker? This reporter has never written a word about the opinion survey's results. He presumably has known about them for months yet has managed to keep its pro-rail results out of the Advertiser’s news columns.

Phoenix Sounds Off

The serious accident involving a Phoenix at-grade train and a van on December 2 has prompted a flurry of on-line comments in a Phoenix media website. The crash nearly cost the van driver’s life according to a firefighter at the scene.

Here are some representative comments about the dangers of driving near the city’s at-grade system:

Posted by Guisseppe: The whole thing is the stupidest ever. The thing only goes what, 25-35 miles per hour, and travels on the ground. This isn’t a light rail. Go to Japan to learn about light rails. What idiot decided to put it on the ground instead of elevated?

Posted by toycannon: From the appearance of this van after being pinned it is EXTREMELY lucky that this woman did not have any passengers on board. Can you imagine if this had been a van-load of children from a church function? Probably the van driver’s fault. In her defense however, the design of the track route is just asking for accidents in that area….

Posted by FustigatedOne: One accident a week for its first year. I told you pro-LR dolts that a metro chock full of tourists, seniors and illegals is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention all the booze, meth and cell phone addicts driving under some sort of impairment. This is a bad town for a surface based train system....

Posted by THEHOODLUM: This wouldn’t happen with heavy rail subway.

Nor will it happen with Honolulu’s elevated train.

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