Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Shapiro’s First 2021 Column Offers ‘Fair Shot’ to New HART Chief; That Would Be a First for the Always Anti-Rail Writer

David Shapiro’s January 3 column in the Star-Advertiser said the new CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation “deserves a fair shot to show what she can do.”

Will Shapiro keep his perennial anti-rail views in check long enough for Lori Kahikina to enjoy that fair shot? 


That will be a stretch; Shapiro’s been anti-rail since the start of the current project. And true to form, in the same paragraph he wished a fair shot for Kahikina, he fired another shot at rail by calling the project “ill-conceived.” 


There was nothing wrong with how rail was conceived. If Shapiro had understood the project’s goals from the start, he might well have been more of a supporter and less of a contributor to the caustic atmosphere that impeded rail’s progress. (Yeah, that's probably a stretch, too.)


Even Shapiro has to concede the need for a travel alternative for commuters moving through Oahu’s southern corridor. And, Dave, here's a news flash: Elevated rail is the ONLY way commuters and others can avoid ever-increasing traffic congestion on the island’s limited road network. 


The project’s four goals address Oahu’s decades-long reduction in mobility. Once completed, the rail project will restore mobility to commuters and other passengers along the island’s southern transit corridor. 


So yes – give Lori Kahikina a fair shot as she begins one of the most difficult undertakings in Hawaii government. Let’s see what she can do with support rather than constant opposition.


Ms. Kahikina needs all the support the community can deliver as she plots the path to build rail as originally planned – all 20 miles of it.

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