Mr. Cayetano is not taking aim at traffic congestion, according to Mr. Borreca. He’s vowing to go after members of the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), which voters approved 16 months ago to plan, build and operate Honolulu rail.
Knowing details of his plan would give the community something to digest and dissect instead of the candidate’s heretofore vague references to the San Diego trolley, express lanes and bus rapid transit.
No limb is required to predict that whatever he proposes, Mr. Cayetano’s plan will be incapable of matching rail’s deliverables – fast, frequent, reliable and safe transportation through the city.
Will Mr. Cayetano actually have a transportation plan, or will he let the cat out of the bag in the end by offering “alternatives” that already have been considered and dismissed?
The Honolulu news media should be asking these questions, of course, but like the candidate himself, they’re avoiding mentioning Mr. Cayetano’s transportation poke and what it might contain.
We already can predict that whatever the candidate has in mind, it can’t provide traffic-free travel to beleaguered west-side residents in place of their highway commutes between the ewa plain and downtown.
That’s the unmatchable benefit of the rail project – something at-grade transit, buses and toll roads can’t achieve.
So far this year, the prediction is holding true, and that’s unfortunate for the community, since David Shapiro, Cynthia Oi and Mr. Borreca are what’s called “opinion leaders” in the trade. They do the thinking for far too many people who can’t be bothered to spend the time required to be minimally conversant about the Honolulu rail project.
We noted in January that the anti-rail opinions on display in the three columns are to be expected. “Afflicting local government, elected and appointed officials and their projects is what they do and have done for decades. It’s their calling, and they’ve made it work for them.” The three have a total of more than 100 years working in Honolulu journalism.
What’s missing elsewhere in the media is any sense of curiosity about the details of what Mr. Cayetano wants instead of rail. Maybe reporters will begin such an inquiry, but that’s a prediction we’re not prepared to make.