Mayor is doing his job -- and we need rail
Some people's thinking is upside down when they complain that Mayor Mufi Hannemann is being too forceful with his efforts for rail. It's ironic that they can't see he's merely doing his job. Traffic is a severe problem every day of the week on Oahu. One Saturday, the traffic into Honolulu was just as congested at 10 a.m. as it would be at 7 a.m. on a weekday. We need rail.
Last week there was a backup between Kapolei and Waipahu that forced some of us to sit in traffic for two hours from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We were stuck, with no way to avoid the mess. By the time we entered the H-1, there was no way to exit. All that time, we were wasting gas, valuable time and polluting the air as our cars were stuck in place. We need rail.
Some of the same people who want to stop rail also don't want the dump in their neighborhoods, don't want to build new classrooms for our students, don't want windmills to save energy, don't want to recycle as it's too much work ... and on and on. Now it's their time to help Leeward Oahu. We've provided for them, now it's their turn to help us. We need rail.
The anti-rail group just wants to complain about the mayor and stop the transportation solution that has been debated for far too many years. Where have they been for the past 20-plus years? Why didn't they attend the workshops, informational forums and just listen and learn over the years? Some in the anti-rail group even say that they want to study rail more and have a say in the decision. Where was our chance to vote on the H-3, which helps a majority of them go to work, shop, do business and play? We need rail.
Back in 1981, when we moved to Makakilo, there were beautiful waves of green cane fields between us and Waipahu. Now the green cane fields are gone and in their place are homes, businesses, and soon a new university and more homes. In the homes, there are people. These people need to go to work to pay for the homes, and most of those jobs are in the city. There aren't enough buses or land for three more lanes in each direction to accommodate the people going to work. We need rail.
Many of the hotel workers, restaurant workers and the other workers in the Waikiki tourist industry live on the Leeward Coast. They need transportation into the city. Honolulu can't accommodate any more cars or provide any more parking lots. We need rail.
No matter if you agree with the mayor on every issue; I don't, but this time, he's right! Oahu has lost federal funds in the past due to indecision in the city government. Now we have a mayor who is listening to the people, and we need rail. Wanting rail has nothing to do with it -- we need rail.
The growth of our island demands that we stop playing games with rail and just break ground so construction can begin. Thanks, Mayor Hannemann, for listening to us because we need rail.
Carolyn Martinez Golojuch lives in Makakilo.