“Fewer lanes for cars, increased traffic congestion, and an unrealistically low price estimate.” According to Kirk Caldwell, Ben Cayetano’s new proposal for transit is a hasty, last-minute plan that is clearly driven by politics, rather than by honestly trying to solve Honolulu’s serious traffic congestion.
“Ben’s new plan – if you can even call it that – is a half-baked scheme that raises even more questions than his original plans for BRT. And the simple fact is that BRT, or “FAST”, or whatever Ben wants to call it, will take away existing lanes and force more cars into fewer lanes, increasing traffic congestion and slowdowns. We already have the worst traffic congestion in the nation. This plan will make it worse.
Ben’s plan also clearly has significant environmental impact. An elevated busway with massive on and off-ramps would be much more intrusive and much larger than the narrow rail guideway. BRT has not even begun to go through any kind of environmental review or public vetting process. His new plan is going to significantly impact communities throughout urban Honolulu, closing roads for months or years of construction, taking away on-street parking in neighborhoods from Kalihi to Kaimuki, and requiring far more underground work – and potential disturbance of Hawaiian burials – than rail transit.
The $1.1 billion price Ben has put on his plan is ridiculously under-estimated…the proposed double-decking of Nimitz Highway would cost more than half of that alone. In addition, there are no available federal funds for Ben’s plan, so Honolulu taxpayers would be responsible for the entire bill, and we are not allowed by law to use the state funds that have already been collected for rail. Finally, operating costs for Ben’s plan would be much higher than rail
Oahu’s traffic gets worse and worse every year. Ben’s plan simply does not have the capacity, speed, reliability and safety of an elevated rail system.
Ben Cayetano has had months to present a BRT plan in detail to the public. Coming forward only weeks before the election, with a grab bag of ideas, no financial plan, and little time for experts and the public to give it the thoughtful and thorough review it requires, is disingenuous at best. The people of Honolulu deserve better.”