Honolulu Transit Meeting

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Street maps such as this one were part of the display at the Honolulu Transit public meeting Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night the City and County of Honolulu held a public meeting at the Blaisdell Center Plumeria Room to pitch its proposal for a possible mass transit �solution.� Hundreds of people came, expecting to hear some speeches by the supporters and maybe opponents of the transit project.

This was not a meeting where anyone spoke. What we got was an informal gathering of public officials, transportation project planners, the transit planning contractor and the general public, all in one room to look at displays of the various proposals to Honolulu�s traffic problems. The public also got to have their �say� by filling out comment forms which were collected by officials running the show.

This public meeting was set up just to satisfy the federal requirement to present the public with a number of transit options even though we all know that the City and County�s leaders want a fixed rail of some sort.

They already have the funding source to pay for part if not all of this. The 12.5% General Excise Tax increase (the largest ever in the state) was passed earlier this year by the Hawaii State Legislature and became law without the Governor�s signature this past summer. Hawaii taxpayers as well as all visitors will be subjected to this higher tax starting on January 1, 2007.

The estimated price tag just to build a rail transit system is around $2.7 billion. This was the stated cost for a system that would run from Kapolei to Iwilei, just outside downtown Honolulu. The latest proposals now have a rail line running through corridors within Honolulu�s urban core, ending up at the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus with a possible spur to Waikiki.

Many people living in Honolulu oppose fixed rail transit since it offers no commuting benefit for those who already live and work here. Wherever the transit line will go, it will certainly impact residential and business property owners, create divisions within communities, effect city views, and disrupt vehicular traffic during and after construction.

These are among the many concerns that need to be brought up before rail transit is allowed to proceed. Between now and the end of 2006, the transit supporters will have be producing a report to further analyze transit alternatives (including a �do not build� option) upon which the City Council is expected to vote on by the end of the new year.

A similar public forum was held for Leeward residents in Kapolei tonight (Wednesday).

Hopefully something may manifest itself to derail this expensive project before the first hole is dug.

Links:

  • Forum Tries to Cover Rail Transit bases
  • Honolulu High Capacity Transit Project
  • Honolulu Traffic.com
  • 2 Comments so far

    1. Kainoa (unregistered) on December 18th, 2005 @ 1:32 pm

      That’s a little selfish to wish to derail the project!! I can only speak for myself in saying that i’m in favor of the mass transit project. If you’re saying “How does it benefit the people who already live in the metropolitan areas of Honolulu,” I say how did the Kalanianaole or H3 benefit the rest of the island?


    2. macpro (unregistered) on December 18th, 2005 @ 7:22 pm

      When it comes to money we all work for, we have to be selfish in this liberal state that wants to take more and more of it away every year! No New Taxes!



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