Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Slater, Prevedouros Added to Talking Points Site; ‘Forgotten’ 2008 Rail Poll Tracks with ’11 Survey

Life seems to be speeding up – everything going faster with less time to read it, absorb it, get it. That’s why we aggregated nearly 30 previous Yes2Rail posts yesterday and grouped them around recurring topics. We’re adding to the list today.

The two most visible and recurring rail critics are’s Cliff Slater, whom we call the anti-railer in chief, and Dr. Panos Prevedouros, a University of Hawaii professor who’d like to see toll roads built here instead of elevated rail.

We’ve added sections devoted to these two gentlemen at the bottom of yesterday’s post. From now on, when referring you to our previous efforts to put their rail criticisms in perspective, we’ll link to that post for easy reference.

Criticism is good, especially when it invites reflected attention back on the critics.

Public Opinion, Again

We found our August 27, 2008 post while reviewing past entries, and this one deserves special attention. The Honolulu Advertiser reported that day on a rail poll by OmniTrack for the Hawaii Business Roundtable. (To locate material in both papers prior to the June 2010 "merger" that marked the end of the Advertiser, go to the Star-Advertiser's website and click on Back Issues.)

It said that among the 1500 registered voters surveyed by the company, 59 percent said they supported the rail project. The opposition came to 38 percent. The paper’s staff wrote: “The results jibe with a slate of recent polls indicating a majority of local residents support the $3.7 billion elevated commuter rail project.” (The figure used today is $5.3 billion calculated in year-of-expenditure inflated dollars.) The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Those results also jibe beautifully with the poll conducted in May by QMark of 900 residents across Oahu. It found 57 percent supporting rail, 40 percent opposed.

One wonders how many times these objective, scientific, principled public opinion polls have to be published before it’s obvious to everyone but outspoken rail critics that Oahu residents favor construction of the Honolulu rail project!

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