Thursday, July 17, 2008

If the people vote in favor of rail and you win the election, how do you handle this?

John H. sent me this question. Here is my answer:

I will not support Hannemann's six-plus billion dollar 34 mile fully elevated heavy rail.

But I will respond directly to people's vote by redesigning for a true light rail system (planners and architects prefer at-grade stations), developing other alternatives, doing an honest alternatives analysis with full disclosure of costs, and letting people decide which alternative to build. It will take about 10 months to have honest estimates of benefits and costs. Then in one year we can start with the option that people choose based on quality information.

At the present time, the community cannot decide on rail with the information that Hannemann has put forth. What we have been given is a sales brochure with a promotion campaign. We need at least a "Consumers Report" level of analysis in order to decide.

If this leads to light rail, then I will support light rail as long as the majority of the public also supports the extra taxes that will be needed for its development and operation.

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