Sunday, February 7, 2010

Accepting Rail EIS Would Put ‘Jobs on Track'

An editorial in today’s Honolulu Advertiser urges overhaul of State procurement procedures so federal stimulus money can be spent quickly and create jobs for an economy that could use them now. A few sentences jump out at you:

“But just meeting deadlines is not enough when the economy needs far more jobs, and more rapidly than the state seems capable of delivering.”

Then there’s the conclusion:

“Hawaii needs a boost in consumer spending, and that requires getting jobs on track. More than ever, that must be a fast track.”

Procurement reform is the issue, but you can’t read the editorial without thinking about a big job-creation project that could launch within a few months – Honolulu rail.

“Getting jobs on track” will happen if the State Administration erects no artificial barriers to the Honolulu rail project when the Final EIS reaches the Governor’s desk. More than a few observers already have identified politics as the major player in the looming confrontation between the City and the Governor’s office on acceptance of the FEIS.

Once the EIS is submitted in final form to the Governor with approval and coordination by numerous State agencies, her acceptance will clear the way for the Honolulu rail project to begin stimulating our economy. At that late date, it will be simply inconceivable for the Governor to cast about for an excuse to deny her acceptance, such as a belief at-grade rail would be a workable option for Honolulu.

If she still has doubts, let her Google “at-grade rail accidents,” including those in Phoenix, Houston and Los Angeles. The safety angle alone should be enough to convince her at-grade transit is unsuitable for our crowded city.

No comments: