Driving on tollway would be lonely
I have to say that if David Rolf's toll lanes on the freeway (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 1
) come to fruition, he will be traveling at the speed limit during rush hour because he will be the only one in the toll lanes. No one else will be willing to pay a toll to use the freeway.
Rail transit should go underground
In the urban areas of Honolulu, the proposed rail mass transit must be installed underground, as are most major world cities' mass transit systems.
Every building downtown and in Waikiki has a basement usually for parking and many times down multi-levels. Therefore, the rail can and should be installed underground for aesthetic and practical reasons.
Remember, the installation of rail mass transit will be forever. If we are going to do it, let's do it right.
Toll lanes move more people -- do the math
I take exception to Councilman Gary Okino's math on the efficacy of rail transit and the inability of a highway to serve Leeward Oahu traffic. (Star-Bulletin letter, Oct. 6
). I will work out an example using his numbers.
Let's take 50,000 new homes in Ewa, each with an average of 1.5 workers, two-thirds of whom need to work between the airport and downtown. This creates 49,500 new trips from Ewa to town. We need an alternative that can serve these trips.
In three morning hours a three-lane high occupancy and toll (HOT) reversible expressway can transport upward of 18,000 vehicles per hour and carry more than 54,000 people in autos, carpools and express buses. So 50,000 new homes could be built in Ewa if such a road is built.
Average metropolitan ridership for rail is 3.2 percent, but I will make an exception and assume that a fantastic 30 percent will use rail. In three morning hours, rail will carry only 14,950 people and the 50,000 new homes can't be built.
The inability of rail to attract riders and solve congestion is well established. However, the inability of some elected officials to make reasonable assumptions and use simple math is worrisome.
Panos D. Prevedouros
Professor of Transportation Engineering
University of Hawaii-Manoa
Honolulu, too, can reap many benefits of rail
I want to comment on the transit symposium held Thursday
at the Hawaii Convention Center. I was quite impressed with the information provided by several mayors and administrators from other cities that have already built rail projects. Their residents are now reaping the benefits of rail with more mobility choices, reduced congestion, less pollution, and opportunities for "smart growth" and "livable communities" centered around transit systems. Rail works there, and it can work here, too.
I'm convinced that toll roads aren't the answer. Toll roads will only put more cars on the highway, and when you exit, you'll just find yourself in a huge traffic jam trying to get into town with everyone else. Rail, on the other hand, moves along in its own right of way, separate from cars, trucks and buses.
We should all encourage our City Council to make their transit decision by the end of the year, and make that choice rail. It is the transportation infrastructure we need to ensure our future as one of the great cities of the world.
In valid comparison, lanes would beat rail
The mayor has directed transit consultants to explore rail systems starting from Kapolei to the University of Hawaii with more than 20 stops. The mayor has directed the consultants to explore elevated bus lanes only from the H-1/H-2 merge to the edge of downtown with only one entrance and one exit. It will be hard to compare the two.
If there were such a comparison, you would see that the elevated bus lanes would keep TheBus on schedule and traveling faster (60 mph) than the proposed rail. The cars could also ride on the elevated lanes at 60 mph. This would open up one entire lane on the freeway.
The rail alternatives proposed by the city consultants are all local trains (no express trains) and travel at 23-25 mph. They maintain these slow speeds even when the freeways are open. The rail alternatives do not get any cars off the freeway.
The mayor's consultants should provide commuters and their City Council representatives with real schedules for rail and elevated bus lanes covering the same distance with similar stops or entrances and exits. Then everyone can compare their current commuting schedules to the proposed new schedules and decide what works best for them.
Ewa-Pearl Harbor road is good alternative
One fantastic idea to relieve traffic congestion is to build a road from Ewa Beach through Pearl Harbor going east into Honolulu; some versions of the idea include bridges while other versions include a tunnel.
Significant obstacles have prevented that idea from maturing into a plan. Obtaining money to pay for such a massive project is a big obstacle. Federal funding would be needed to complete a project of that scale in a timely manner.
Obtaining permission from the Navy to build a route through Pearl Harbor has been another big obstacle. While a bridge certainly couldn't be built across the entrance to Pearl Harbor, we should be able to build bridges across the Western Loch and Middle Loch.
Our elected officials at the state and local level don't have the horsepower to get the Navy to budge on this issue; our U.S. senators and U.S. congressmen do. Sadly, our current Washington delegates have not demonstrated any real interest in this idea. As a consequence, a fantastic idea has languished.
Would 'Dog' critic rather rapist was free?
Charles K. Kaupu Jr. (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Sept. 30
) feels that "Dog" Chapman is not a hero and should pay for breaking the law in Mexico.
I wonder, if Mr. Kaupu had a daughter who was a victim of Luster, would he feel the same way? And would it really be so terrible if Mexican authorities came into this country to take back a convicted serial rapist? Luster was convicted, not just accused. He's now serving a 100-plus year sentence. Would Kaupu rather he was a free man?
Dog is not only a benefit to these islands, he is a benefit to humankind. He has rough edges, a troubled past and he's not perfect. But our daughters are safer because of him. And that makes him a hero.
DHHL should stick to building homes
I read with interest the Sept. 29 story
on the Department of Hawaiian Home Land's plan to make the largest shopping mall on the island in East Kapolei. No wonder Hawaiians don't have homes! Sixty-seven acres for a shopping mall, yet thousands of Hawaiians remain on the list for homes. How did this project get ahead of the line?
Prevention is way to control 'white plague'
The Hilo High School student who was expelled after refusing the required tuberculosis test
should read about the history of this horrible disease.
It killed millions of people before the first drugs were invented to control it -- so many millions it was nicknamed "the white plague." Now those drugs are beginning not to work, leaving prevention as the only certain method of avoiding a new epidemic.
Under those circumstances, a TB skin test is not "invasive." It's just good sense.
What are real reasons for Bush's obstinacy?
Sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies revealed that the war is causing more Iraqis to hate America and fight against U.S. troops. Many retired military officers ( including generals ) report that we can't win the war with President Bush's leadership.
Journalist Bob Woodward, who unmasked the crimes of Richard Nixon, reports the Bush administration is covering up the fact that U.S. troops are being hit with 100 insurgent attacks daily. Now Bush says he wouldn't pull out even if only his wife, Laura, and his dog, Barney, were his only supporters. Is this democracy?
Remember when Bush's Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill revealed that Bush had plans to auction Iraqi oil fields six months before 9/11? If that auction took place, and if the U.S. withdraws, Bush would have to return huge sums of money for his failure to deliver the oil fields to his constituent oil corporations. Could it be why Bush is adamant about staying the course, or is it the loss of a dozen permanent U.S. military bases bolstering American business control of the Mideast?
Hawaiian's complaints are self-serving
Does anyone else find it ironic that Hawaiian Airlines is criticizing go! airlines
for competing unfairly by offering discount fares? Isn't this the same Hawaiian Airlines that successfully eliminated Mahalo, Discovery, Mid-Pacific and Royal Hawaiian and did its best to put Aloha Airlines out of business?
My guess is they are screaming so loud now because for the first time Hawaiian Airlines is facing a well managed competitor with strong financial recourses. The usual tactic of cutting fares only until the new guy goes away just won't work with go!
Personally, I'm going to fly go! I know what will happen to inter-island fares if it leaves the market.
If only go! airlines sold gasoline, too!
In your Oct. 5 edition
, Bob Maynard, president and CEO of Aloha Petroleum, made the argument that the fact that other oil companies are not trying to enter our market is proof that we are not being overcharged for fuel. It proves nothing of the sort. Another company would have to factor in both its start-up costs and the high likelihood that Aloha Petroleum would lower its prices once competition arrived.
A good example is that of Mesa Airlines (go!), which saw highly priced interisland fares prior to its arrival in Hawaii, but now is competing against fares that are a fraction of what they were before Mesa arrived.