Monday, March 15, 2010

This Just In: 4 Angels Can Dance on a Pin, and Advertiser Is Still Focusing on the Wrong Thing

Reading today’s rail story in the Advertiser reminded us again of the question asked by medieval scholars: “How many angels can dance on the head of the pin?”

Thanks to the Internet, we have the answer: Formerly there was no limit, but new OSHA regulations set the number at four and require twice-annual inspections of the pin to detect structural defects.

Nowadays people on a quest for knowledge can ask questions like, “How many jobs will be created by the Honolulu rail project?” I suppose that’s important to economists and number crunchers, but getting stuck on that question is as crazy as counting angels.

It’s About M-O-B-I-L-I-T-Y

Rail detractors say the project is just about unions, campaign contributions and jobs, so an overly long story on somebody’s lower prediction of the job total plays right into their hands.

Let’s keep the focus on rail’s true purpose – restoring mobility to our community. We’ve lost our mobility. It’s no longer possible to move through our community and be certain we won’t be impeded by traffic congestion.

Only grade-separated transit offers that certainty, and grade-separated projects – elevated or underground – have restored mobility to cities around the world.

Honolulu’s elevated rail system will do the same here. Yes, of course, naturally, without a doubt: Jobs will be created, and if you bother to read far enough into today’s Sean Hao Special, you’ll see that the deputy project manager believes the number will be in the same 10,000 range that’s in the Draft EIS.

So can we please stop fixating on how many angels will be employed on this project!?

No comments: