Civil Beat’s subscription news service is attracting attention by offering members the opportunity to engage in dialogue with each other, the site’s reporters and editors on Hawaii’s major issuess – civil unions, energy independence, Honolulu’s rail project and many others.
Our interest is mostly the rail project, of course, and we continue to post a pro-rail point of view that’s clearly identified on our member bio page. Most of the commentary from other members has indeed been civil, with the occasional ad hominem attack the exception.
Catching Up with the Times
Some members continue to support options to rail to address Honolulu’s increasing traffic congestion issues. Just this weekend buses on managed (hot) lanes were suggested by one contributor, prompting our recommendation of a thorough reading of the Alternatives Analysis discussion in the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Indeed, it’s safe to say all alternatives suggested by community residents over the years were fully explored in the Alternatives Analysis process – including waterborne ferry service. (A frequent visitor to a newspaper comment section was fixated for a few weeks on the idea of using barges to float buses across Pearl Harbor.)
The DEIS addresses all the major alternatives, including the busses-on-managed-lanes suggestion, and since it keeps coming up, it’s worth quoting why the analysis dismissed it. From Chapter 2, Section 2.1.2:
The Final EIS that soon will be issued will reiterate all the alternatives that were deemed worthy of serious and detailed analysis. At this late date, it seems appropriate for residents to shift from continuing their own alternatives analysis to instead focus on what’s immediately ahead.
The FEIS will address mitigation of Honolulu rail’s impacts on the community. An elevated rail system is what’s on the table – not an ongoing rehash of the issues that reasonably should have been put to rest four years ago