Of course it is my strong recommendation that Honolulu registered voters vote NO in the city charter amendment asking for the establishment of a steel wheel on steel rails fully elevated heavy rail system.
Linda, a person who voted for me in the 2008 primary election (who I do not know in person) sent me a very interesting email listing a litany of important questions. My answer to most of her question is: I do not know.
Because all these important questions remain unaswered and because the rail's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not provided with sufficient time for public review and comment prior to the election, the public Must Vote NO on the Rail question.
Linda's e-mail is reproduced below with her permission, in its entirety and with no changes. If you have answers to the majority of her questions please send them over.
What is the real reason that Hannemann is pushing for the rail by 2009 even though we do not have any guarantee on federal monies? It must be that the unions, etc. were promised to get him elected as mayor, then next as governor.
Also, even though we receive federal monies, won't we still as taxpayers have to dish out the balance, which no one seems to know what the actual amount will be. Is the real reason to develop the rail to bring in money and create jobs for the next 10-15 years? I'm all for job creation, but in the end, we'll all be paying more taxes and only those connected with the rail will be taking in any money. What is the true cost of adjusting bus routes, building car lots, providing security (hopefully), training or bringing in mainland staff?
Have issues such as safety and security and maintaining the rail been addressed? I am very, very concerned about that. It seems that even the Bus has difficulty with upkeep. The seats and floors are not cleaned, and torn. How long will it take to fix anything on the train since we obviously have to bring it in? Even traffic lights, etc. take months and months to be brought to Hawaii. My daughter stopped taking the city bus because of the lack of security and this is on a bus in which the bus driver can see and hear the riders. What happens on a train that will not have any security person on it? It seems like the perfect situation for muggings and even worse crimes. How about the car lots - any guarantee on security for our cars? Or will our cars be open game?
Who will actually work for the train system? How many regular workers, including maintenance and repair people and at what cost? Will it be run by union workers? What happens if there's a strike? What is the actual daily labor/running cost that will be involved?
What actual bus routes will connect to the train? How long is the actual time for the person to get to the bus station, ride the bus, then ride the train, then maybe have to walk or take another bus? I think people are just thinking about the train riding time, not all of the logistics just to get on the train and get to where they have to go. If they take their cars, again the safety issue and how many car lots?
I think demonstrating the actual noise decibel was a great idea. Just telling people it's so many decibels, people don't understand what that means in comparison to freeway noise, noise from an ambulance, etc. I would not want to be near constant steel-on-steel noise especially if you live in a residential area. I lived in Japan, so you can hear the train noise late at night (among all the other city noises). They have noise decibel machines to help people be aware of the noise pollution - do we want to have to do that here? I'm not sure if they have some kind of law about what the decibel limits are.
I would be more open to a system in Waikiki up to the airport area, University - probably not steel-on-steel, if all of the above questions were answered clearly!
As for a system from Kapolei - no. I think the city should keep its promise made to the Kapolei residents 20 or more years ago, before they bought their homes. Create the 2nd City - so they don't even have to come into town. They can have free time to spend with their families - quality of life! Isn't that what was promised - to build offices out that side so they wouldn't have to come into town. More time, less traffic, better for our environment, better quality of life. All the money they plan to spend on rail - spend it on building the 2nd City for the sake of all of us.