Monday, July 12, 2010

Cliff Slater’s ‘Ace Card’ Turns Out To Be a Joker

Today’s edition of Civil Beat, the online subscription news service, carries an interview with Cliff Slater, the decades-long opponent of Honolulu rail. John Temple’s entire interview is available only to subscribers, but all visitors can view the opening paragraphs and one of the three videos accompanying the interview.

You’re encouraged to do so, because that particular video contains the centerpiece of Mr. Slater’s anti-rail presentations. To summarize, he describes how he first tells his audiences that Honolulu rail will cost $5.5 billion and then says it will not reduce traffic congestion from present levels. “Any questions?” he then asks, apparently playing his best card right at the top. (Photo by Civil Beat.)

We don’t attend Mr. Slater’s presentations, but if we did, we’d point out that traffic is worse in Chicago, Paris, New York and San Francisco today than it was when those cities built their grade-separated rail systems decades and generations ago. Pouring concrete to pave over their open space didn’t reduce congestion, it facilitated it, so playing his trump card of "increased congestion with rail" really doesn't take the trick.

Without the rail alternative in those and other cities around the world, congestion would be even worse than it is today, and there would be no commuting alternative to sitting in traffic congestion.

We encourage Oahu residents to pay close attention to Mr. Slater’s arguments on behalf of his non-rail traffic solutions. Rail’s Final Environmental Impact Statement addresses all his points, but all you really have to do is pay close attention to his statements to know Cliff Slater’s vision for Oahu’s future isn’t something we can live with.


kstancin said...

We are in big trouble if we continue with the rail project, says aerospace engineer Kenneth Stancin. Two major problems; first
we don't have all the money to complete this project. Second the
time factor to complete the rail system is projected to be from 10
to 20 years. We'll all be dead by that time.A new novel idea has risen that will cost under one billion dollars; and will be completed within 3 years. We are thinking about an aerial tramway system that is quiet, can be built along the freeway or on the same proposed transit line, without having to buy any land. The aerial tramway systems are reliable and
safe. They are used in over 82 countries world wide including the United States. For more info; please call Ken Stancin at 818 396-9103. Vote no for an ugly, noizy train on our beautiful tropical island.It just doesn't fit.

Doug Carlson said...

Ken, I admire your self-promotion and entrepreneurship, but your solution is no solution for Honolulu. First, you've completed bought the anti-rail line about taking "10 to 20 years" to build the system. Completion is projected for 2019 once Cliff Slater's lawsuit is out of the way. Second, you've bought the Slater line on the funding. But most importantly, an aerial tramway can't possibly meet the city's needs, which includes easy access to the rail line from centers of the urban population. Have you looked at where the freeway runs? It's not where the people live and work. Lastly, there's no "vote" ahead on this project. Please read my July 28, 2011 post on the overwhelming majority support the project has received in three scientific polls.