Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Moving Along...

It's a good thing Honolulu passed the rail measure yesterday. Seems the were also approved to move along in the FTA process to "Preliminary Engineering" or PE.
The Federal Transit Administration has given its approval for Honolulu to start the preliminary engineering phase of its planned $4.3 billion commuter rail project, the city said yesterday. Beginning the preliminary engineering phase of the transit project is a major step toward securing federal funding.


Linkmeister said...

I voted for it reluctantly. It won big enough, but a lot of people don't like the heavy rail aspect of it and feel like we were (pardon the expression) railroaded. We're worried about the aesthetics of a honkin' big aboveground rail system ruining view planes and sightlines, not to mention noise.

Our biggest industry is tourism, and part of its draw is the beauty of this place. Something that looks like Chicago's El is completely out of place here.

But we got a panel of hand-picked engineering "experts" who all agreed that heavy rail was the best option, with nothing more than their word that light rail, maglev, or even busways weren't sufficient to do the job. That's what the opposition was about.

Justin said...

And an elevated highway with interchanges is going to be better ? Have you actually seen a elevated interchange? The amount of room an elevated highway takes up is quite a bit more than a elevated railway. At 4.5 Bilion, I am certain Honolulu is not get heavy rail, but something along the lines of ART, VAL, or the Canada Line technology.
I have a feeling that asthetics was taken into consideration.

Anonymous said...

Though there are already 20 miles of elevated highway in Honolulu area.

Are people like Cliff Slater whining over the "ugly" highways?

M1EK said...

Busways aren't going to do it, and street-level rail in Honolulu is a very bad idea (and I'm normally a strong proponent of LRT). The roads are gridlocked for hours and hours and hours - there's no capacity to use at street level that won't piss off motorists enough to be not worth the trouble.

It needs to go all the way to Waikiki, though, and tourists ought to pay a non-subsidized rate - that would be a sure path to success.