President's Message (Arlene Ellis)|
Certificate Honoring and Commending the LWV-Hawaii
Health Care Consensus
Health Care - Position Statement of the LWVUS
Health Care: Phase 2 Consensus Questions
People's Water Conference Focus
Year in Planning, Zoning and Transit (Astrid Monson)
Health Care - Summary of Proposed Reforms
Comparison of International Health Care Systems
Year in Planning, Zoning and Transit
1992 was a busy--even hectic-year for League's Planning, Zoning, and Transit Committees. Many crucial is-sues were settled by 5to-4 City Council votes, not necessarily by the same line-ups in each case. League was very active-testifying at public hearings, serving on advisory committees, writing letters to the Editor, lobbying, publishing research analyses on specific issues, getting our viewpoint on TV and radio, and urging other public interest groups to do the same.
Over-all, such groups were up against a growing tendency to give developers what they wanted, even in violation of both the letters and the intent of the legislation of the books. Time after time, we showed that various proposals were clearly contrary to the General Plan, the various Development Plans, or the Land Use Ordinance. The public put up a good fight; the preponderance of testimony was on our side; and then we would lose, by 5 to 4. As one Council member said, "You people amaze me. You never give up. You should keep trying."
The major victory of the year-though it may be only temporary-was the Council's 5-to-4 vote against an increased excise tax to raise $1.7 billion to pay 70% of the construction cost of a 15 mile rail transit line from Wahiawa to the University of Hawaii. Though warned that such action would "kill rail," efforts continue to keep the project alive by changing the route, finding a different way to finance it, get more Federal money than the $700 million pledged (but not necessarily appropriated) towards its costs, etc. At present the city administration is proposing a non-finding referendum either by a special election or by mail-in at the same time as the Neighborhood Board elections in April.
As early as our pro-con report three years ago, we raised the possibility of having "bus rapid transit on reserved lanes or busways," based on the concept of priority for public vehicles even at some discomfort--of single occupancy automobiles. Our 1991-92 and 1992-93 programs included "support and monitor study and implementation of 'bus rapid transit' and other alternatives to real transit."
Because Ottawa, Ontario had developed North America's most complete and successful "BRT" system, we analyzed everything we could get describing it, including two videos, helped the Council's Transportation Committee bring Ottawa's General Manager to Honolulu for an all-day seminar, and used it as part of League's half-hour TV show on Channel 22 entitled "Bus Rapid Transit vs. Rail."
In December Council Transportation Committee Chair Rene Mansho and the City Council established a Transportation Alternatives Task Force, on which League is represented, to work out a comprehensive bus transit and. traffic management program for the Council to adopt. We are now working with a new organization, PITCH is described elsewhere in this VOTER.
Our successful work on the transit issue was, unfortunately, not matched in the planning and zoning field. Among the major events of 1992:
A new Chief Planning Officer, Robin Foster, has been named to replace Benjamin Lee, who will take charge of Waikiki development. League worked with Foster years ago on inclusionary zoning for affordable housing. We look forward to being able to serve a constructive role with the Departments of Planning and of Land Utilization and hope we do better in 1993 than we did in 1992.
|November-December 1992||Home Newsletters||February 1993|