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TOWN HALL MEETING WITH NATIONAL EXPERTS COVERING DISBENEFITS OF RAIL HITS A NERVE
Stay tuned for some youtubes from the meeting that clearly had some pro-railers, the one's out to make a buck off this project that does not provide traffic relief - but merely transfers a few bus riders onto the rail, silenced after witnessing what rail development has done in other cities. The majority of promises exclaimed by our City that you will indeed forfeit your car in favor of rail transit, that you will frequent Costco and other big box stores by rail, that traffic will get better with rail, have not panned out across the country. Rail ridership is down across the nation where adequate roadway lane miles are offered as an alternative and what was pitched to us that 90,000 a day will ride Honolulu's rail system when in cities larger than ours, ridership does not even break the 20,000 mark, will result in less fares actually collected resulting in us paying more in taxes to subsidize rail.
In the end, if you will forfeit your car to ride the rail, then you are most likely already taking the bus- since studies have revealed that taking the express bus from Kapolei to Ala Moana Shopping Center will be faster than riding the rail.
The five experts that gave presentations captured how the promises made by rail proponents in communities such as Portland and San Francisco did not succeed since the future is in independent mobility and the reality and popularity of vehicles now on the landscape that use less energy and are pollution free. Another eye opener kept hidden by the City is the actual costs to put the whole Transit-Oriented Development scheme to fruition, rail's dependence on propaganda to sell it, actual energy use since rail is dependent on fossil fuel, noise pollution, and jobs going for out of state residents instead of local hires as promised.
The town hall meeting was so informative and on the mark that after the meeting, numerous residents from Council District One who were previously siding with rail, reconsidered their position and conveyed to me that they were "offended" the City never told them the truth about Honolulu getting the most expensive rail project in our country's history and how traffic will get worse with rail.
The panelists were not a bunch of naysayers, but rather exhibited there is a better way to resolve and address our transportation crisis, and proved it with facts, applications, viability, and wherewithal tried, tested, and true.
To read my press release and handout I compiled for last night's town hall meeting - click here.
Local area historian John Bond (Save Ewa Airfield) stated this about the presentations:
"I think the pro-railers or union folks who stayed were pretty well blown
away by the consistent logic and facts presented last night. This was truly an All-Star presentation, crisp, precise and overwhelmingly convincing as to the huge looming disaster that is Honolulu Rail.
These Tom Berg Town Hall You Tubes need to be seen by everyone."
Some photos from the meeting as well are pasted below.