Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Condo residents file objection to train whizzing by outside their windows
by Larry Geller
The associations of the Ko`olani and 1133 Waimanu condos in Kakaako have sent a letter dated October 29, 2009 to the US Department of Transportation expressing their concerns about the elevated rail transit system Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The first concern is that the DEIS does not conform to the Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register that states:
"The draft EIS would consider five distinct technologies: light trail [sic] transit, rapid rail transit, rubber-tired guided vehicles, a magnetic levitation system, and a monorail system."
The second concern notes that there are 2,342 condo units in the immediate area of the train tracks and that the DEIS does not mention those buildings. With the train passing by 70 feet up in the air, views would be destroyed:
Our visual impact assessment upon completion of the Project would be from moderate to high. The guideway and columns would be a dominant element that would substantially change views and the visual character of our neighborhood.
The final concern is for noise:
The planned noise mitigation that includes sound barrier walls built into the guideway and modern steel-wheel technology will not keep the sound from rising above the sound barriers and will negatively impact our neighborhood.
The current Project route passes inappropriately close to urban residential units with high populations in our neighborhood to keep the costs down. As currently planned, we will experience all the adverse effects of the Project on the neighborhood character and quality of life but none of the benefits.
The writers recognized that many residents support transit.
Condo dwellers are not the only ones objecting to the train passing through Kakaako. Federal judges have also expressed displeasure at the plan to pass the train close to their office windows for security reasons.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded here.
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