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Sunday, July 22, 2012
Sierra Club Rail Position: Incompetent, Disturbing
By Honolulu Traffic @ 5:50 PM :: 6539 Views :: Rail

Dennis Callan sounds off on the Sierra Club position

Dear Sierra Club,           July 18, 2012
I was just reading the Anthony Alto and Rick Barboza's Sierra Club statement in this week’s Honolulu Weekly about mass transit, urban growth and the mayoral election. I found it riddled with contradictions. Their statements are in italics.
Like you, I am pro-urban growth, but I am also anti-rail. I want to see our city built up like European cities I have enjoyed in my 65 trips to Europe -- right now I am in Stockholm, one of the great examples. I am knowledgeable in how cities can function, how they can include urban housing (I live in a Makiki highrise).
Here are some problems with Alto/Barboza's, and apparently the Sierra Club’s, attitude:
"we are firmly committed to a future where development is concentrated in the urban core"
Rail to Kapolei is not in the urban core, DUH!!!!!
"we should be promoting modern, livable, walkable cities."
TOD is not going to create that in Waipahu, Aiea or Pearl City and certainly not in the farmlands of Kapolei, DUH!!!!!
"BRT would require dedicated lanes and dozens of buses running for every train equivalent"
This is really disturbing to hear, and so incorrect. You have no idea what you are talking about. An articulated bus can easily carry 100 people, their train, maybe 250. How does that equate to 24 ("dozens") buses? This is the basis of your analysis? This is nothing but pathetic -- to think you are so unaware of the realities of mass transit and yet presume, you pretend, to be protecting our environment. This is really shameful. Two buses will do the work of one train, not 24 buses. A BRT system does not require dedicated lanes throughout the route -- that can come a bit later as it evolves. We just need more buses now, with certain priorities, certain new lanes, no parking allowed on certain routes, signal priority, make room for buses on our existing streets, lets get going with the bus program.
"we’re troubled by the lack of detail in his mass transit alternative"
The city has spent hundreds of millions for many years on their deficient plan -- give us a break. We have the concept firmly in mind -- BRT. Now let’s spend some city money and plan a workable system. You think we can't do that? You think we are stupid? BRT is a no-brainer, if you would only open your eyes.
"candidates can and should commit to concentrating all major new housing projects in the existing urban core. Places like Moiliili and Kalihi are prime for revitalization."
How would a train to the suburbs possibly contribute to such a vision? I do share your goal, build up our city, in the urban core. Come on, let's get together with a new mayor who is smart and really cares, not controlled by construction unions and downtown banks, and build a great city. We can do it, and we can protect our precious farmlands. Rail would do the opposite.
If the Hawaii Sierra Club wishes to continue in business, stay out of this issue right now. My preceding comments demonstrate you are obviously incompetent to make any kind of informed statement. Announce that you have no position, or better yet, wake up, and come out for Ben and for smart growth.
Dennis Callan
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