Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Superferry is Hawaii's second sumo match this year

by Larry Geller

Hawaii seems to plan its transportation projects by staging wrestling matches. The match that resulted in Mufi's train being re-routed through Salt Lake impressed me as great sumo at the time. A pretty low-ranking division, to be sure, especially when Councilman Romy Cachola unexpectedly pushed all opponents out of the ring to get the train routed his way (nevermind whether it's good for UH students, airport travelers, etc.).

Just push and shove and you can win at transportation planning in Hawaii.

Maybe the ongoing fight over the Superferry is just another sumo match. Again, the governor's maneuver to avoid the EIS requirement failed and she was pushed so far out of the ring that her voice was only a distant squeak afterwards. She seems to be pretty much sidelined since the opening round concluded.

But like a real sumo tournament, there's big money involved, so for sure the match isn't over yet.

Our state Department of Transportation fell in the mud (or is it a pothole?) this time, to add to the embarrassment it earned recently by claiming that it is actually spending $18 million on pedestrian safety so that Lingle doesn't need to release the $3 million apportioned by the Legislature this session.

Funny how the DOT isn't an effective player in the transportation game in Hawaii. Remember how badly they handled the Van Cam? It might have worked, saving lives, 'cept for the way DOT did it.

SumoDanceIt looks like power has returned to the people for the moment, and folks are enjoying a short and well-deserved dance of victory.

To understand more about Hawaii's transit planning methodology, see this Wikipedia article.

For ongoing alternative news about the Superferry, check in regularly at ilind.net.


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