Saturday, January 9, 2010

Welcome to Wonderland, Where ‘Curious’ Thrives

What can you say about the latest news surrounding the Honolulu rail project that hasn’t been said already? We’ve noted repeatedly here why a rail project like this one saves time for commuters, saves them money, improves a community’s productivity, lessens congestion, is not accident-prone like at-grade systems and is therefore safer and more reliable, generates thousands of construction and other jobs, contributes to smart transit-oriented growth and on and on and on.

Yet now come headlines that the State’s chief executive thinks “rail cost risky for state” and “city’s rail plan costly, elevated tracks ugly”. If that thinking predicts her intention to not accept the Final Environmental Impact Statement, then Honolulu truly will have become the New Wonderland – where everything is curiouser and curiouser.

If she does do that and defies the will of the public (see November ’08 vote, see scientific opinion poll at, click Library, click General Information tab) and ignores the considerable impacts of at-grade transit, she may just become the new Queen of Hearts of Honolulu. You remember her:

“The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head,’ she said, without even looking round.”

In this case, the offing would kill a project with greater potential to improve commuting in our long and narrow city than any other idea to come along in decades, as well as the potential to create thousands of jobs at the exact moment Hawaii needs that stimulus.

Our whimsy about Wonderland is not a sign of disrespect for the Governor, who has a difficult job to perform, but she must do that job within the strict requirements of her review authority by looking around and weighing all the factors and all the consequences of whatever action she chooses.

To have come this far in the Honolulu rail process and then have it killed would be almost as unbelievable as Alice’s fall down a rabbit hole into that fantasy world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You comments may be light and humorous but they are right on target!

Our Gov: No vision. No guts. No brains. No leadership.

If she continues down this road her political legacy will be her catastrophic failure to work together to build a superior rail system that will enhance HNL's quality of life.

Shouldn't "the will of the people" have some impact on her decision making?

This is really shameful behavior from a person who appeared to have great promise when she was first elected.