Let 2-person vehicles use ZipperLane
Was the Department of Transportation's decision to increase the minimum number of riders for the ZipperLane to three (Star-Bulletin, June 24)
an arbitrary decision or a decision based on studying the number of occupants in vehicles currently using the ZipperLane in the morning?
My wife and I enter the ZipperLane each morning from the first entrance after the Kunia interchange. The majority of vehicles we observe using the ZipperLane have only two occupants. I doubt that the price of gas will cause people to carpool and use the ZipperLane because the local mindset is set on driving and not the price of gas. The majority of vehicles in the regular lanes have only one occupant.
Because of the DOT decision, my wife and I will now have to contend with vehicles in the HOV lane with only one occupant because the minimum of two occupants is very difficult to enforce since there are no areas for police officers to stop and observe the HOV lane from the H-1/H-2 merge until you get down to the Radford High School area.
The logic of this decision is flawed.
3-person HOV lanes, transit make sense
Regarding the HOV/Zipper Lane change: I've never understood how a carpool is less than three people. How is two people "high occupancy"?
Someone else mentioned the "slug" system used in D.C., an informal ride-share arrangement where riders and drivers gather and find each other by displaying signs stating their destinations. If a rider and driver are going the same way, they can ride together in the HOV lane. That really is something that should be looked into here.
Whatever mass transit choices there are, there ought to be park-and-ride facilities all over the place. Sure there's a sort of a hub-and-spoke bus system here, and for the most part it works well, but many have to transfer at least once to get to their final destinations.
I'm sure that if more people could take their cars to a central location and park, they'd be more than happy to catch a bus, train or carpool. Sure beats hoping that your first or second bus is on time so that you can make your final transfer.
Running more buses might boost ridership
Honolulu has one of the best bus services I have had the privilege to use; however, there is still room for improvement.
I have visited two cities that left quite an impression on this subject.
Switzerland has a system that runs every 12 minutes, with time tables posted at every stop. They don't experience the traffic jams typical of Honolulu, but it runs like a Swiss watch.
In the other city, Quito, Ecuador, some of the five-lane streets have dedicated one lane for buses only, and separate it from the others using a small cement fence about two feet high. Mind you, Quito has traffic as bad as Honolulu, but the flow seems to be better than before.
By no means am I suggesting that we adopt a schedule that runs every 12 minutes, but it is very frustrating to miss a bus and have to wait another half hour for the next.
Al R. Silva
Don't let Hawaii fall behind in civil rights
Ten years in ago, in response to an expensive misinformation campaign, many Hawaii voters voted to "stop" same-sex marriage via a constitutional amendment. Actually the vote was to give the Legislature (rather than the courts) the power to determine if same-sex marriages should be eligible for state licenses. There was never any issue about the legality of same-sex couples entering into legally binding marriage contracts. Despite the fear mongering, same-sex marriage in Hawaii is now, as it was then, perfectly legal under contract law.
Since then more and more jurisdictions have begun to license such unions. California starts this month. No earth-shaking event has befallen these jurisdictions as a result. No demonstrable harm can be shown to the institution of marriage or to society in general. Only now a group of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens has equal access to a government service.
Maybe it's time for Hawaii's Legislature to use the power given to it in 1998 to license same-sex marriages. The way things are going, instead of being the pioneer state on this civil-rights issue we risk the humiliation and shame of being one of the last.
Tracy A. Ryan
Stop punishing those who work for a living
I have become more and more irritated at the suggestions in the liberal press that Barack Obama should institute "fair taxation" if he is elected president.
The definition of "fair taxation" is clear: Take as much money in taxes from the prosperous and successful and hand it over to the poor and useless. The definition of prosperous includes any working-class couple who makes a decent living.
What incentive is there to strive to succeed?
We continue to worry about these people who live on the beaches and wait for handouts. Some of them are truly needy. We need to support them to every extent possible. The rest of them are moochers. Why is it that drug users cannot afford food and lodging but seem to have no trouble affording drugs?
Most of us have choices. We can be educated or not, work hard or not. If you cannot afford children, don't have children. There is no constitutional right to live in Hawaii. If you cannot afford to live here, move to Omaha.
There is no longer any shame in living off the taxpayers. There is also no real penalty in not working. I remember reading a phrase from the Depression years, which we should bring back: "The threat of starvation is a powerful incentive."
Richard J. Saas