The HART website is misleading despite claims of transparency:
Let’s start with the HART’s Q&A section where they pose a question and answer it themselves. Here’s one:
City Q & A: Is rail transit going to make a difference in traffic congestion? Yes. By 2030, unless we have rail, there will be an estimated 40,000 more car trips per day on Honolulu’s highways and surface streets. Rail will remove these cars and reduce delay due to congestion by 18 percent.
Our Response: That sounds good. However, Table 3-12 in the Final EIS (see the May 4 entry below) shows that if the City doesn’t build rail, population growth would add 525,000 cars to the road. If it does build rail, population growth less the minor effect from rail, would still add 476,000 cars to the road. So, in round numbers, it means we would have a half million more car trips every day whether we build rail or not ! Some benefit for spending $5.2 billion (and counting).
Are the local construction jobs really going to run into the thousands?
The adjacent table is courtesy of a recent Hawaii Star-Advertiser article. It looks to us that HART has “generated” 152 local construction jobs out of the total of 508 jobs so far.
Since we always parse the City’s sentences we have to note the word “generated” as being different from the simple “hired.” Does it mean they intend to hire or they have actually already hired?
With the new transparency promised by Mr. Grabauskas we are sure that we will shortly be enlightened as to what it actually means. City transparency in the past has simply meant that we could see through all their attempts to mislead us.
Rail’s federal funding is slowly fading away:
Today’s Transportation Issues Daily, in an article titled, “Two Reasons the Back-Up Plan for a Transportation Bill Probably Won’t Work,” forecasts that a) other than short term extensions of the last Transportation Bill, SAFETEA-LU, there will be no new bill this year, and b) there will be even worse squabbling over any new bill in an even more partisan post-election Congress.
For Honolulu, this means that the $250 million that the Obama Administration had set aside for our rail project will just disappear. It also means that New Starts Funding as a national program may also disappear.
Join the Honolulutraffic.com REDACTED Club:
Eligible members are those who submitted emails or letters concerning the rail project to either the City or the FTA and the subsequent official comments were found to be REDACTED in the Administrative Record.
These are the first fourteen proud members of the REDACTED Club:
Ben Ramelb, Bobbie Slater, Panos Prevedouros, Sid Char, Lawson Teshima, Mike Dang, Sally Hall, Nicholas Bleeker, Jamie Story Nancy Nagamine, Pearl Johnson, Dale Evans, Rich Ubersax and Cliff Slater.
To check whether you qualify for membership in this exclusive organization, enter the following in a Google window — redacted fta “yourfirstname yourlastname” — and that should bring up any items in the Administrative Record where your name is mentioned. All these documents are pdf files that have a number that starts with AR000 and has ten alphanumeric characters. The original thread must be from you and not just appear on, say, their enemies’ list.
Send us the AR number and your name to become a member. In addition, to be inducted into the REDACTED Hall of Fame you must have a thread with at least five redactions.
Rail renderings are not to scale:
The photo below with a rendering of the rail infrastructure imposed on it may be found in the Final EIS, page 4-89. It is the City’s effort to depict the visual impact of rail at the Halekauwila Street/Cooke Street Intersection, looking Mauka past Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park.
Note the supporting pillars just behind the parked cars and about 120 feet further behind another pillar. These pillars are supposedly eight feet in diameter. However, if you allow that this car is a Toyota Camry with a length of 15′ 9″ then if the pillar were to scale it would measure less than three feet in diameter. There’s one thing you can say about HART’s new transparency program; you can see right through it. And you thought that the FTA approved the Final EIS.