Friday, February 25, 2011

Oahu Growth Keeping Pace with Rail Projections

Table Source: U.S. Census via Civil Beat
The U.S. Census has released data on Hawaii’s 2010 population and that of its counties, and some rough back-of-the-envelope calculations show Oahu is growing about as fast as the Honolulu rail project said it would.

For years now the project has projected Oahu’s population to grow by 200,000 between 2005 and 2030. It grew 77,051 in the past decade, so we’re dividing that number in half to achieve an approximate population for 2005 – 914,682.

Let’s use an 8-percent rate of growth for the next two decades, slightly lower than the 8.8-percent growth Oahu experienced from 2000 to 2010. Based on the 2010 number, the 2030 population would be approximately 1,111,820.

That total is 197,138 more than our estimate of the 2005 population, exceptionally close to the rail project’s projection for Oahu’s growth of 200,000 during that 25-year span.

Yesterday’s Post – Continued

We asserted yesterday that anti-railers are the true obfuscators when it comes to talking about the Honolulu rail project. Let’s continue that theme today.

With new U.S. Census figures out, we wanted to look up what Cliff Slater’s anti-rail, pro-car website has said about anticipated Oahu population growth. It’s our recollection that Mr. Slater has questioned the project’s population projections for Oahu and thereby the need for rail.

What we found instead is something typical of Mr. Slater’s anti-rail site, and this time his partner in a deliberately misleading assertion is equally pro-car Panos Prevedouros. Here’s a quote from a 2006 press release from Dr. Prevedouros as posted on Mr. Slater’s website:

“The City’s site also says that over 60% of Oahu’s population lives within the proposed rail corridor. Perhaps 60% do live to the left and the right of a single rail line, in valleys and ridges. On the average, these residents have to walk about two miles on heels, dress shoes or flip-flops in order to 'improve their ability to move.' In reality, much less than 5% of Oahu’s population is within one half mile of rail stations and can somewhat conveniently use the rail line.”

Notice how quickly Dr. Prevedouros slides from agreeing with the City’s estimate to his preposterous assertion – that “these residents have to walk about two miles on heels, dress shoes or flip-flops….” to a rail station. The release goes on: “Will the average Honolulu commuter walk two miles to the station, and then do the same after work?”

This is typical of anti-railers, who thrive on creating a straw man and then attacking it. The City has never ever suggested it expects the public to walk two miles to the stations. Maybe some will (it couldn't hurt), but others will be dropped off, take a bus, ride a bike, skateboard or drive to parking lots adjacent to some stations.

TheBus could become the preferred method to travel to and from rail stations, but depending on development patterns, as many or more users might ultimately walk. They do it all over the planet!

Misleading the public on Honolulu rail is a key tool in the anti-railer kit, and we’ll undoubtedly see the results of its use in the months and years ahead.

No comments: