Friday, October 16, 2009

Oahu Needs Change (We Can Believe In), or Congestion is Here to Stay

There is no better proof that traffic congestion will worsen in the future than the regional transportation plan being prepared for OMPO. OMPO is the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization. It's a federally mandated agency that coordinates city and state transportation improvements on Oahu.

OMPO is governed by its decision making Policy Committee consisted by directors of transportation and elected officials. It is a true oddity that elected officials from other counties sit on Oahu's Metropolitan Planning Organization. (Why can't they sit in California MPOs and stop toll roads there instead?) That's a subject for a separate investigation.

OMPO is preparing the 2035 Plan for Oahu. Read their Vision, Goal and Objective excerpted below. For Oahu's people, the number one transportation issue is traffic congestion. It is completely absent from the stated vision, goals and objectives. The conclusion is inescapable: Congestion on Oahu exists and gets increasingly worse due to deliberate planning and decision making. Of course such an overt bias of metropolitan planning should come as no surprise to those informed about the "rail transit" and "smart growth" agendas for political gain and profiteering from developments of the rail project.

To be completed by early 2011 by PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF [A major city consultant for the rail]

In 2035, Oahu will be a place where we will have efficient, well-maintained, safe, secure, convenient, appropriate, and economical choices in getting from place to place. Our transportation system will move us and the goods we use in a manner that supports the island's high quality of life, natural beauty, economic vitality, and land use policies by supporting appropriate density development and avoiding urban sprawl. This system will promote energy conservation and economic sustainability as well as the protection of our ports of entry, preparation for emergency situations and changes in global climate patterns.

Provide an inclusive, multi-modal transport system whose connectedness provides efficient means for users desiring to move about this island by bicycle, freight carrier, pedestrian facility, road, transit service, and intermodal connectors.

1. Develop, operate, and maintain alternative transportation facilities, including bikeways, walkways, and other accessible pedestrian, bicycle, and environmentally-friendly elements

2. Enhance the integration and connectivity of the regional transportation system.

3. Provide efficient, convenient, and cost-effective transit service to Oahu’s citizens.

4. Promote the intermodal efficiency of harbor terminal facilities, airport terminal facilities, and land transportation systems.

5. Provide rehabilitation, renewal, and modernization of facilities in sufficient magnitude to ensure system preservation and continued, effective operation.