Thursday, December 17, 2009
Rail will increase, not decrease, traffic in Honolulu, Mr. Caldwell
by Larry Geller
An argument is raging over whether Mufi’s train is “green” or will reduce the number of cars on the roads. City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell jumps into the fray and asserts otherwise, but he doesn’t have me convinced.
Actually, I think rail will increase the number of cars (so will building a toll road, another questionable solution).
I’m no expert, but check out this logic please.
Honolulu is doing nothing to reduce the number of parking spaces, each of which will be filled by a car. We’ve not implemented flex time, or taken other traffic abatement measures, either. The train will carry people who don’t park (even folks who don’t own a car), but still, the number of cars on the road will not decrease. No parking space goes idle.
In fact, as developers salivate over the new tracts they will build along the rail line, they know that each new home will come with one or more new cars. So much for reducing traffic.
Let me quote myself:
Of course, developers, architects and engineers, construction companies and many others (often Mainland-owned) will benefit from rail transit. The value of their developments will go up. It will be easier to sell tracts in Central Oahu if developers promise a rail transit system and relief from the horror of rush-hour traffic into and out of central Honolulu.
Trouble is, they are selling lies. By the very act of constructing tens of thousands of new homes, developers doom all of us to ever-increasing traffic and longer commutes as well. We'll also end up paying, through our taxes, for the water, sewage, road and energy costs of transit-driven development.
When Kalanianaole Highway was widened property values in East Hawaii went up, followed of course by development. The same will happen in Ewa as soon as transit plans are approved. Each new home comes with one or more new cars. Those cars, of course, will be used, they're not parked for display purposes.
Think about it--our tax money is being taken for a project to benefit primarily the folks who are making life on Oahu increasingly miserable for the rest of us! …
No reduction in traffic due to rail ridership
But what about the folks who work in town who will give up their cars to ride the train? As soon as they do so, a parking space becomes available. In no time it will be snatched up by someone else. Of course it will, because parking spaces are a premium commodity in Honolulu. So net reduction in traffic: zero. [Disappeared News, Fool the people into transit debt, 6/26/2006]
I don’t see the flaw in the logic. More cares, all parking spaces filled, no reduction in traffic.
Thanks, Larry, I sometimes wonder how these opportunist like Mufi sleep at night. I assume that they are without conscience. The rail will not benefit Oahu.