Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Protests, Lawsuits Make Honolulu Rail ‘Normal’

Another week, another lawsuit – this time financed by the die-hard anti-rail group headed up by the rail opponent who’s been at it for more than two decades.

We mention it because this blog attempts to record the significant happenings on the Honolulu rail project, not necessarily because we have an opinion on all of them.

But we will offer one regarding the latest lawsuit to be announced (the first was dismissed last week). This new challenge alleges among other things that the project failed to adequately consider transportation alternatives to a grade-separated fixed guideway, Honolulu’s preferred alternative.

The allegation seems implausible due to the City’s undoubted expectation long ago that lawsuits would be filed if the last t and i were not crossed and dotted. Consider also the project’s goals against which the so-called alternatives – such as HOT lanes – were judged.

Only the preferred alternative can satisfy those goals. HOT lanes clearly would not for reasons discussed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and elsewhere here at Yes2Rail.

Regarding the protest filed by a losing bidder on the project (described in the same Star-Advertiser story linked above), protests can be expected when a company loses out on a billion-dollar contract. Long-timers here will recall a similar challenge lodged 20 years ago during the Fasi Administration’s attempt to build a grade-separated system.

So despite the inferences one might draw from the long stories beneath bold headlines, both on-line and in print, the Honolulu rail project is proceeding more or less normally. We probably can expect more "normalcy" ahead.

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