Monday, May 3, 2010

'round the World in 2 Clicks–How Other Cities Use Grade-Separated Rail To Avoid Traffic Congestion

One of the head-shakers (left-right-left, as in “no, no, no”) who rushed past the Honolulu rail project’s booth at the Food and New Products Show a couple weekends ago insisted rail will never work in Honolulu.

“But it works all over the world!” said Booth Guy to the naysayer.

Rushing-Away Guy, over his shoulder: “It won’t work here! Honolulu’s different!”

You hear that a lot. Honolulu truly does have unique qualities, but when the number of cars, trucks and buses exceeds our road network’s ability to absorb them, the result in Honolulu and everywhere else is congestion, delay, frustration and prolonged commutes.

What is different is that unlike cities that have built grade-separated transit as an alternative to sitting in traffic congestion, Honolulu isn’t there yet.

Fortunately, that’s soon to change. Once the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement is completed, the federal Department of Transportation submits it to the governor, she accepts it and the feds issue a Record of Decision, Honolulu’s work force will start building our rail system.

And before you know it, Honolulu residents will be commuting while completely avoiding traffic, just like residents of these cities:

San Francisco
New York
Yes, Honolulu is different -- and vive la différence! But we're not THAT different when it comes to wanting to avoid traffic jams. These cities have given their citizens an option to do that, and Honolulu will, too -- with elevated rail:

No comments: