That seemingly should have been a subject ripe for considerable discussion, wouldn’t it? Messrs. Cayetano and Slater and a few others are plaintiffs in a lawsuit that they hope will kill rail. At a minimum, it seems likely to delay the start of major construction.
So knowing what they prefer as an alternative to a grade-separated, traffic-avoiding transportation mode was something we expected to hear on this program.
It didn’t happen. The anti-railers didn’t go there. They blinked and flat-out refused to discuss their preferences. One can imagine a pre-program huddle in KHET’s parking lot between the two:
Drew Astolfi, director of Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), noted that Honolulu’s long and narrow geography is perfect for a rail system and one reason federal authorities are so supportive of the project. Like Mr.Okino, he wanted to discuss the real issue – traffic.
Mr. Okino: “At some point, traffic congestion is gonna be so terrible, you’re gonna have to make a choice….. (Mr. Astolfi) said you’re gonna end congestion for people who get on the train. There will be no congestion if you take the train. Now if you have a train that can get to town in a half an hour, congestion out there is gonna get worse, and the projections are going over an hour. It’s 65 minutes already. So the choice of the people will be, 30 minutes on the train (or) two hours in traffic on the freeway. I guarantee you there will be a whole bunch of guys getting outta their cars.”
Mr. Boylan might have asked Mr. Cayetano to describe a present-day or future commute by car from the ewa plain. He didn’t and Mr. Cayetano didn’t offer one. Messrs. Cayetano and Slater were silent on their at-grade transit and HOT lane preferences, so instead of extracting obvious differences between the lawsuit plaintiffs’ vision for the future and the vision shared by Messrs. Okino and Astolfi, the program sat there “in the weeds.”
Despite the disappointing outcome, we’ll have more observations about last night’s INSIGHTS show in future Yes2Rail posts.
This post has been added to our “aggregation site” under the heading Mr. Cliff Slater (and Friends).