Messrs. Cliff Slater and Randall Roth said during the program that the city has misled Oahu’s public into believing rail will reduce traffic congestion on our roads and highways from today’s levels. They produced no evidence the city said such things, but they clearly think it, and for them, that’s good enough to go on the radio and say so.
Mr. Slater was equally exercised by the anticipated future growth of traffic even after rail is built:
Mr. Slater treats this as some major revelation, but of course traffic will be worse in the future unless the future is a place where families don’t have children and nobody moves here.
Remember that quote, please. Here’s an excerpt from the August 27, 2008 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser reporting on the poll results, which not incidentally reported that “nearly three out of five registered voters surveyed favor building a rail system in Honolulu.” (You may need a subscription to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to link to the story.)
Mr. Slater was quoted in that story as saying the poll’s key rail question was “very misleading,” and to that, we emphatically agree! The question was not only misleading but confusing as well – a query based on a flawed premise.
The city has never said rail would reduce congestion to less than today’s levels. We took pains to destroy that notion in yesterday’s post. The poll's question was a case of garbage in, garbage out, and the newspaper's failure to recognize the flaw is having repercussions today; it appears to be the basis for Cliff Slater’s assertion about what the public thinks rail will do to traffic. It might also be why Professor Roth believes the city has lied to the public.
Here’s the headline on HawaiiReporter.com's November 4, 2008 item that reported on the KHVH program: “Finally, the City & County of Honolulu Admits That with the Proposed Rail Built, Traffic Will Be Far Worse Than it is Today.” The 3-minute 50-second audio file that's available on this page reveals that Mr. Slater readily acknowledged and agreed with the city’s Wayne Yoshioka on the future-congestion issue.
As you read the transcript of the 2008 radio conversation, remember Professor Roth’s quote in the third paragraph of today’s post, above, and his indignation about what the city “admitted reluctantly to the federal government, which is, quote, traffic congestion will be worse in the future with rail than what it is today without rail.”
The dialogue is between Mr. Slater, Michael Schneider of InfraConsult, a rail consultant, and Wayne Yoshioka, city director of Transportation Services (with emphasis added in boldface type):
Cliff Slater agreed with Wayne Yoshioka in 2008 that traffic congestion will increase after rail is built, yet he gives speeches and goes on the radio in 2011 implying that the city was forced to admit this in an appendix to the FEIS. He even told the City Council last year that he nearly had to “water-board” Mr. Yoshioka to get him to admit it in the appendix, even though Mr. Slater knew full well then and now that the city hid nothing.
Randall Roth was indignant on Thursday's KIPO program and said he was aghast when he “discovered something that quite frankly upset me more than all of the negative things about elevated heavy rail…a pattern of deception….” How much of a “discovery” could it have been when Cliff Slater and Wayne Yoshioka openly talked about future traffic congestion issues on the radio nearly three years ago?
Furthermore, this transcript from 2008 shows that Mr. Slater is relying in 2011 on the flawed 2008 Honolulu Advertiser opinion poll for what he thinks the public does or doesn’t believe about traffic.
This would be farcical if it were not such a serious issue. Professor Roth’s so-called pattern of deception that he says the city pursued is exactly what he himself is doing with his charge the city did not make a full disclosure on the traffic issue. And Mr. Slater’s continued assertions that the city was forced into an admission in an appendix to the FEIS also is a blatant effort to deceive the public, as well as the City Council and the media.
The Slater-Roth case against the city is a house of cards that’s starting to crumble after only a little air has blown against it. As their direct quotes from radio programs reveal, their own breath is enough to start the cards falling.
(This post has been added to our "aggregation" site under the heading Mr. Cliff Slater (and Friends).