Letters to the Editor
HIGH ON JULY
The perfect issue ... an incredibly enjoyable read. From Jay Shidler’s formula for success and his generous gifts to UH; to the pages about my neighbor, Brian Uy, man about town; to the tips on surviving the Big One; informative, enlightening and entertaining.
Keep ‘em coming ...
Eric N. Hill
President, Principal Broker
Honolulu Realty Inc.
HOT ABOUT HOT LANES
I read David H. Rolf’s comments regarding solving Oahu’s transportation /traffic problems with HOT lanes (“Spin Zone” July 2007) and, I presume, additional buses.
One need look no further than California to see that such approaches to traffic are no solution. Providing additional space for individually driven cars will only act like a magnet for additional traffic, thus making the situation worse. Where tolls have been charged, the toll roads remain almost empty and the alternative roads jammed.
Thus rail is the most efficient mover of people! And, according to the latest edition of the Transportation Energy Data Book (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dept. of Energy), automobiles use 3,445 BTUs per passenger mile while rail transit uses only 2,784 BTUs.
Robert A. Ramsay
RIGGED BIAS FOR RAIL
If you have been listening closely to the discussion concerning the administration’s transit proposals, you will hear a strong bias for rail over HOT lanes (grade separated managed lanes for high-occupancy vehicles with the extra capacity offered to low occupancy vehicles using congestion pricing to keep the speed at the maximum). This bias is actually part of an intentional plot. The administration rigged the Alternative Analysis so that rail would prevail over HOT lanes.
The consultants for the Alternative Analysis, Parsons Brinckerhoff, are national experts in HOT lanes. In 2003, they were the lead consultants for the Federal Highway Administration’s first major publication on HOT lanes (see website below).
Parsons Brinckerhoff could not have designed the HOT lanes described and analyzed in the Alternatives Analysis. How could they, the design was fatally flawed (5 entrances and 1 exit)? It was the administration that provided their consultants with the flawed HOT lanes design. When asked to comment on the design, Parsons said, “the design is flawed.” Therefore, we do not know what kind of HOT lanes Parsons would have designed if they were given freedom to use their expertise.
Every time we hear the Mayor, his transportation director, his chief engineer and his lobbyists say that HOT lanes were studied in the Alternatives Analysis and rail proved to be superior, they are only referring to rigged results.
Let’s clear the smoke and ask Parsons directly, “Is the HOT lane design in the Alternatives Analysis the result of your extensive design expertise, or did the administration provide the design for you?”
HOT lanes are an integral part of the Federal Highway Administration’s “Congestion Reduction Toolbox”. Federal Funds are now available for roads that charge tolls for motor vehicles.
We should take a new look at HOT lanes as part of the preliminary engineering studies in the next twelve months because it hasn’t been done yet, and it is the only solution that can reduce travel time and congestion for all commuters.
“Streetcar Days in Honolulu”
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