Monday, February 18, 2008


Rail a boon to everyone but us

by Larry Geller

Yesterday's headline 9,100 may find jobs working on the railHnl Advertiser 20080217 should worry you if you're adept at reading between the lines.

The article gives a hint at the problem:

Honolulu's $3.7 billion commuter rail project could generate an average of 9,100 jobs during the nine years it takes to build it.

Those direct and indirect jobs could provide a boost to Honolulu's economy — and the construction sector in particular — between 2009 and 2017.

The project's massive scale, Hawai'i's low jobless rate and the specialty skills required to build the rail transit system may result in an influx of workers from the Mainland.

The increased demand for construction workers and materials could also temporarily drive up commercial and residential building costs.

This is good?? The jobs won't go to people living here now, it will take that influx of out-of-state workers to build Mufi's rail. That's a windfall for developers, who will find an easy market for the houses they will build and sell to the workers.

Driving up commercial and residential building costs is not something you and I want, either. And then there's this:

The transit system is not expected to improve traffic conditions. Rather, the project is aimed at giving commuters another option and accommodating growth in the H-1 corridor.

Far from "not expected to improve traffic conditions," the new development, both for the additional workers needed and which the transit project itself will make possible, will drastically increase the number of cars and so worsen traffic congestion. Take a look at the Ewa end of the line. It's pretty barren now. Of course, they plan to build houses there. Instead of "accommodating" growth in the H-1 corridor, this will exacerbate it.

Elsewhere in the article some of these things are discussed. We should talk more. Given that the transit line doesn't go where people want it, we're potentially making life great for developers, engineers and construction firms but possibly far worse for the rest of us.

Imagine the combination: a train to nowhere, an overhead blight, higher housing costs and increased property taxes, and you can't even use your car except late at night.


sounds like a superferry in your backyard. that's a scarier thought than andy parx's blogsite-gotwindmills?the daily tilt. oi vey!


Someone's in the kitchen with Mufi, strummin' on the old Bank-O

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