City council should OK new vote on rail (Star-Advertiser, 1/16)
Except for the anti-rail faction that is keeping the vote issue alive, there’s no reason to believe one is needed. The Federal Transit Administration continues to closely monitor the Honolulu project. In late December, it authorized the city to proceed with Final Design, a major step, and recommended strengthening of the financial plan, which the city is prepared to do.
The Gang of Four’s public relations plan to support the federal lawsuit continues to dredge up the same old issues without offering a viable alternative to rail. There’s no indication their efforts have swayed public opinion on the project.
Since the writer himself brought up opinion polls, you’d think he’d be impressed and convinced about the public’s support for rail in three scientific polls conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Support in those surveys averaged about 58 percent (see our “aggregation” site under the Public Opinion heading).
That same year the steel-on-steel amendment was passed with 52.6 percent of the valid votes. The letter writer tries to diminish the results of that election by alluding to a “margin for error,” but that’s just smoke and mirrors. There is no margin for error in an island-wide election, and there was nothing “ambiguous” about that vote. If you favored transit, you voted for steel-on-steel rail. Rail opponents lost.
In 2010, the two prominent pro-rail candidates for mayor collected 73.4 percent of all votes cast – a clear mandate in favor of the project, since a third candidate who had vowed to “stop rail in its tracks” won only 18.5 percent.
Also overwhelmingly supported by the public in 2010 was a charter amendment to create the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Here’s the wording:
Honolulu citizens have repeatedly supported rail-related issues and candidates on the ballot. It's just that rail opponents won’t take “yes” for an answer.
This post has been added to our "aggregation" site under two headings -- Public Opinion and LTE Forum.