Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More about Questions: Pro-Highway Prevedouros Stands In as Surrogate for Anti-Rail Cayetano in ‘Answering’ Pro-Rail Caldwell’s List of Questions

One thing’s certain: The Cayetano campaign crowd doesn’t read Yes2Rail – either that or they’re OK with typos and misspellings.
We used “sic” a few times yesterday in our post on Ben Cayetano’s response to Kirk Caldwell’s 55 questions about Mr. Cayetano’s bus rapid transit, managed lanes and/or at-grade rail transportation “plan.“
Those typos and misspellings are still uncorrected at the Cayetano campaign’s website as of this writing today, further underscoring the lack of respect details enjoy in Mr. Cayetano’s camp.
But details are what Mr. Caldwell was trying to uncover with his dozens of questions about of Mr. Cayetano’s alternative plan to address congestion and provide relief to commuters if he’s elected and kills rail.
By our count, Mr. Cayetano answered one of those questions, leaving the other 54 unaddressed, but that gap has been partially filled by Panos Prevedouros, the anti-rail UH engineering professor who doesn’t attempt to hide his disdain for mass transit.
The Big Divide
This is a good place to highlight what motivates Dr. Prevedouros and fellow anti-railer Cliff Slater in their endless campaign against rail.  It sure isn’t what motivates rail supporters.
Dr. Prevedouros, Mr. Slater and Mr. Cayetano presumably are motivated to “solve” traffic congestion – something no city has achieved no matter what highway and car-travel advocates say. There’s ample evidence in traffic conditions nationwide that congestion has become a fact of life, and the only thing highway advocates can do is apply tweaks here and there to manage it.
Advocates of elevated rail transit, on the other hand, want to provide Oahu commuters something no highway, managed lane or bus rapid transit plan can ever achieve – complete freedom from congestion.
Grade-separated transit is the only travel option that avoids traffic congestion completely. It’s the only way to accurately predict the time of arrival at your destination before you even begin the trip.
But that fact is never acknowledged by highway advocates, who don’t have a good answer for what happens to vehicles once they leave BRT/managed lanes and re-enter street traffic. Obviously, they’re caught in traffic that elevated rail will speed by above.
Dr. Prevedouros revealed his true intentions in his response to one of Mr. Caldwell’s questions:
Mr. Caldwell: "Why is candidate Cayetano supporting Bug Rapid Transit when his own transit advisors – including Cliff Slater – are against it?"
Dr. Prevedouros: "Cliff and I are strong proponents of real traffic congestion relief. No form of transit qualifies as an effective mitigation for traffic congestion….”
And there it is – a true confession about what rail opponents want in life: Less Traffic. It’s not going to happen, as numerous studies have shown repeatedly, but they know what they want and they’re going to keep fighting rail if it suits their purpose.
You can read all of Dr. Prevedouros’ responses to the 55 questions at Mr. Slater’s website. We’ll have more to say about them in days ahead, since the questions by and large are still unanswered notwithstanding the “answers” provided by Mr. Cayetano’s surrogate.


Roy Kamisato said...

Let me get this straight. Cliff Slater and Panos Prevedouros both acknowledge that "No form of transit qualifies as an effective mitigation for traffic congestion" yet they are strong proponents of real traffic congestion relief. Is there something wrong with that sentence or am I under the influence of drugs.

Roy Kamisato said...

I read all of Dr. Prevedouros responses to Kirk Caldwell questions. I have to say I am embarrassed for Dr. Prevedouros. His answers are written in a very childlike condescending manner. He answers many of the questions with questions and offers few to no specifics to specific questions. These are not the written responses I would have expected from a Professor of Engineering.

Anonymous said...

I really wish people would stop referring to Panos as just a university professor, as if he were some objective and squeaky clean academic with no axe to grind.

He's the president of the Hawaii Highways Users Alliance, for crying out load. It's the state's biggest truckload of freeway special interests.


Panos doesn't mention it much, but he doesn't exactly hide it. For some reason, the news media sure seem to. WTF?

Doug Carlson said...

Roy, if I go on vacation, would you take over writing Yes2Rail? Just kidding, because I continue writing Yes2Rail even when on vacation. But I have to say, you and I are on the same page in all of this.

And Anonymous -- you're no slouch either!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I finally got to read Pano's answers and I am also in agreement with the rest of the posts here. His answers are just awful, they sound spiteful, juvenile, and lacking technical specifics for a rebuttal. It's okay to be in disagreement but give a professional reply, not some Jerry Springer "talk to the hand" song and dance.

It's no wonder our brightest students never pick UHM as their first choice, with a faculty member such as Panos, the caliber is lacking.