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December 2009

January 2010

LWV - Honolulu Report
Honolulu Board Officer Vacancies
Annual Planning Meeting Recap (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Honolulu Rail - Commentary on the Process (Pearl Johnson)
Honolulu Rail - Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (Charles Carole)

Honolulu Rail - Commentary on the Process

In selecting the elevated rail system and planning its route, and in preparing the Alternatives Analysis (AA) for the planned Oahu rail project , the Mayor and chief consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff did not follow the proper procedures or use due diligence as required by federal and state regulations, to protect Oahu's fragile environment..

The main purpose of the rail project should be to provide commuters from west Oahu an alternative mode of travel into central Honolulu, downtown, UH, and Waikiki. Only cursory consideration was given to a cheaper multi-modal system of light rail, buses on reversible express lanes on the H-1, and traffic flow improvements at major intersections coming off the H-1, which would satisfy Honolulu’s traffic congestion needs very well. Neglecting to even review the feasibility of using the existing Oahu Railway right of way is indicative of the inadequacy of the AA. The process was backwards. The selection of an elevated rail alternative was made by the City in 2006, and then the AA and DEIS were written as an advocacy piece. The City spent more than $5 million in a so-called “public participation” effort which was no more than meetings to inform the public of a decision already made.

The key point is that the City did not adequately study all alternatives.

Pearl Johnson

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