Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Silent Majority Who Support Rail Told To Go Public

The Honolulu Advertiser today continues its consistent support for the Honolulu rail project. Both local newspapers have never wavered in that support, and today, the Advertiser calls out the silent majority to speak up.

Here’s the challenge: Show up at the Governor-sponsored one-sided presentation by the American Institute of Architects, Hawaii Chapter, on Monday in the State Capitol Auditorium. Speak up for rail in terms that can’t be mistaken.

This event is quite amazing. The invitation some received (not us) “cordially invites you to attend a special panel presentation…. This presentation will provide an opportunity for you to learn more about and ask questions regarding this major proposed project on Oahu.”

I supposed you could say this is about learning “more” since it’s impossible to learn “less,” but in this case, “more” represents the views of only some architects within the AIA. Other local architects disagree. Shouldn’t a government-sponsored event have some semblance of objectivity and balance?

Of course it should. This is the crazy atmosphere a vocal minority of anti-railers has managed to create here. The State government can hold a panel discussion about the biggest project in Hawaii’s history and make it slanted from the start!

The editorial’s first sentence says it nicely:

“It smells like politics on the rail transit front.”

You bet it does – and throw in bad decision-making by public officials, too. Someone posted a comment below the editorial’s online presence that attendees to this one-sided AIA PowerPoint show are advised to park either in the lot beneath the Capitol or across the street in the Department of Health lot.
That's right -- park. There’s no information in the invitation about bus routes that serve the Capitol. That omission says a lot about the mindset of the decision-makers who work on the Executive level of the Hawaii State Capitol on behalf of all citizens.

Transit riders? Forget about it.


Anonymous said...

I drive my hybrid to work most of the time. If I don't catch the bus that's right down the street what makes you think I'm going to catch the rail? Kapolei's building up nicely, more jobs going on that side, people working online and going to school online. If I don't drive in to work, I work remotely at home. Still can't convince me to say YES to the rail. The people in Waianae/Maili still have to find a way to Kapolei to get to the rail.

Doug Carlson said...

You may be one of the many who won't take rail; I'm sure you know that most commuters won't. But others will find rail as convenient as you find it unworkable. Millions do around the world each day and take grade-separated transit to avoid traffic completely!

And no matter how much at-home work grows in the years ahead, the population and traffic will grow faster. Traffic congestion will become worse, and without the rail alternative, there will be NO WAY to avoid it.

I urge you to think once again about becoming a rail supporter. Honolulu is perfect for a rail line -- long and narrow, with our population constricted between mountains/ag land and the ocean. Without rail, commuters, students, everyone will be destined to being victims of congestion for decades to come.