We’re surmising that Mr. Camping will be proven wrong again and that Cliff Slater will be undeterred in his role as leader of the road show. He and three fellow plaintiffs on a lawsuit that they hope will kill rail made a stop at the Rotary Club of Honolulu last week. Mr. Slater and Ben Cayetano followed that up two days later on public TV, and there’s no telling where they'll show up next.
If Mr. Slater actually gains the floor somewhere, we can predict now with a high degree of confidence what he’ll say in any venue. First, he’ll tell his audience the cost of the Honolulu rail project, and then he’ll say traffic congestion will be worse in the future with rail than it is today – and then he’ll sit down.
What’s the significance? Simply this: Mr. Slater wants his audiences to believe rail shouldn’t be built if it won’t dramatically reduce traffic congestion. He’s a highwayman at heart, so it doesn’t matter to him that Honolulu rail is a mass transit project that has four perfectly reasonable and attainable goals that will benefit Honolulu residents.
If rail won’t slash congestion in 2030 to less than we have today, it would be a failure in Mr. Slater’s book. Of course, his book is a work of fiction. With 200,000 more residents living on Oahu in 2030 than in 2005, congestion will of course be greater than today. Couples will start families, and people will continue to move here, and unless Mr. Slater has some schemes up his sleeve to prevent that from happening, both the population and traffic congestion will grow.
So if there’s an opportunity to ask Mr. Slater questions at any upcoming event, the questioning might begin with this one – an adaptation of Question #5 in our TEN QUESTIONS project:
If you happen to be at an event where Mr. Slater says why he’s against Honolulu rail, please let us know if our prediction came true by adding a comment, below.