May 1991 Home   Newsletters

June-July 1991

August 1991

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Charter Commission
Campaign Reform (Daniel K. Akaka)
Motor Voter Registration Up-Date
Permit Modification for Storage on Johnston Atoll
League Testifies on Fixed Rail Route
Viewpoint for KHPR
Letters - Mahalo from Local 5 (Berna Iosua)
Letters - Environmental Awareness (Warren Poslusny)
Charter Review Meeting
Letters - Donald Wolbrink Chapter Achievement Award (Tom Fee)
Letters - The Public Reporter (Patsy T. Mink)

League Testifies on Fixed Rail Route

On May 16, 1991, President Arlene Kim Ellis, testified at the City Council, stating the League's opposition to the construction of the entire rail system, "whether overhead, underground, or anywhere in between" at this time.

The League voiced the various questions that have arisen, such as shifting the downtown segment makai and overhead; going underground from Iwilei all the way Diamond Head to the end of the line; alternatives in the University area; going underground in Waikiki and eliminating the entire Kuhio segment.

Presently, the downtown segment is the only portion of the route slated to go underground, largely as a result of the DIA's justifiable objections to the aesthetic impacts of an overhead line downtown and in the Civic Center, as well as the impediments such a structure would create for downtown traffic. Residents and business interests from Waikiki have also expressed similar concerns and voiced their strong objection to the planned overhead line.

The League reminded those present of the earlier transit studies conducted for the City in the 1960's. Then it was made clear that Honolulu was too small a city to afford a subway system and that any chance it had for a rail transit would have to be aerial.

The public has not been fully informed of the noise and congestion that will be created, nor of the loss of value to properties adjacent to such a struc-ture, let alone the aesthetic eyesore the configuration will render. We have seen only illustrations drawn as favorably as possible, depicting sleek trains gliding effortlessly over the landscape.

"Putting a line on a map is easy. Transforming it into a concrete structure from one end of the City to the other will be harder as people increasingly realize the costs--aesthetic and social, as well as financial."

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