Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Review: Feds Respond to Lawsuit, DKI Says Funding Solid, another At-Grade Collision

The workweek ended (does it ever?) with word that the federal defendants in the lawsuit to stop Honolulu rail have responded to the suit and its allegations. As Civil Beat reported yesterday, the response makes for pretty dry reading unless you’re an attorney. This is typical of almost every paragraph:

“The allegations in paragraph 3 contain statements of jurisdiction to which no response is required. To the extent a response is required, Federal Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 3.” And: “The allegations in paragraph 54 purport to characterize the NHPA and its implementing regulations, which speak for themselves and are the best evidence of their content. Federal Defendants deny any allegation contrary to the plain language, meaning, and context of the NHPA and its implementing regulations.”

That seems plain enough, and we now await developments in court. The City already responded to the lawsuit.

At-Grade Pilikia

Norfolk, VA is taking justifiable pride in The Tide, an at-grade rail transit system that begins its official run next Friday. It recorded its first car-train incident on Thursday in a hit-and-run collision, hopefully not the first of many, although that could be hope against hope. At-grade systems around the country have racked up numerous accidents with vehicles; Phoenix recorded 52 in its first year of operation. Elevated Honolulu rail will record none. Norfolk understandably is emphasizing accident prevention at its website with a “Safety Starts with You” campaign. It’s therefore ironic that a photo cycling through The Tide’s home page shows the kind of track encroachment that leads to accidents:

Senator Inouye Says

We reported this week on the encouraging words of Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), who has represented Hawaii in Congress continuously since statehood was granted in 1959. Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senator told reporters this week Honolulu “can count on” the federal funding in the project’s financial plan.

That stands out as the best news of the week.

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