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Voters deserve another crack at city rail proposal

By Tom Berg

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:05 a.m. HST, Nov 21, 2011



In the pursuit of bringing rail to our landscape, the state Legislature and city officials have failed to advance the most effective means of traffic relief. This has spawned a lawsuit that stands to derail the current rail project.

How did our government dupe the public into thinking we were to get the best traffic solution available?

It did so via Act 247, Hawaii Session Laws 2005, which included language that any general excise tax increase on Oahu cannot be used for highway technology such as managed lanes, reversible expressways or what we refer to as bus rapid transit.

The state worried that if all forms of transportation technologies were examined, the conclusion would yield the same results as studied by former Mayor Jeremy Harris earlier: that the bus beats rail on all fronts.

That is why our state government acted in bad faith, pretending the tax increase would be about traffic relief when it clearly was not; taxpayers then were forced to pick steel-wheel rail or get nothing at all.

More disturbing is that the federal government subsidizes highway technology by 80 percent, while rail gets, at most, 20 percent. In our economic climate, going with the smaller subsidy and taxing our residents more for a system that moves no goods, services or freight, and is worthless in times of emergency evacuations, makes little sense.

But there is hope. There are other forms of rail transit technologies available to us that can be built without the huge amounts of public subsidies dumped into them, and with the ability to sustain themselves with private investments.

Unfortunately, as things stand now, this means that over the 30 years the GET rail surcharge is levied to build the 34-mile segment, an Oahu family of four will pay almost $27,000 in additional taxes to construct this particular rail system.

In contrast, the monorail and magnetic levitation rail systems could be public-private-partnerships lessening the tax burden significantly.

Since the city cannot put any type of highway solution on the ballot using the GE tax surcharge as a funding mechanism, let's do rail right and get the best system for our island.

If the ballot question were done over and the choices permitted were to include rail systems like the monorail and magnetic levitation, I believe the voter would reject the steel-wheel-on-steel-rail scenario and rather, want a quieter, less-expensive, easier-to-maintain rail system that is more in tune with 21st-century technology.

I authored Resolution 11-328 in an attempt to put on the 2012 ballot a choice for voters to go with superior rail technology and stop this steel-rail plan before it's too late.

However, the resolution was rejected Nov. 2 at the full Council meeting by a 7-2 vote.

There is something inherently wrong with this rail project when the folks who are pitching it do not want the public to weigh in on it any more and do not want to offer the opportunity for voters who are paying for it to change their mind.

I believe we have time to stop this steel-rail ordeal and get a better transit system.

A last-ditch effort to hear everyone out before we make that final plunge will be offered and take place at the Mission Memorial Auditorium on Dec. 6, starting at 6 p.m.

Honolulu deserves to have the opportunity to get a quieter, less-expensive rail system that future generations would be proud of and that our construction unions would be honored to bring to our landscape.


City Councilman Tom Berg represents Oahu's District 1 (Ewa, Kapolei, Waianae).






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hokumakakilo wrote:
I agree! Either repeal Act 247 so we can build and add to freeways and expand The Bus, or build a better rail system. The way they are doing it is so ridiculous, and who wants to hear that monster screaming by all day and night. Also thank you for bringing up the funding differences by the feds on freeway vs. rail. I have been saying this since 2006 and no one will listen. We are being duped. The feds have always paid 80-90 % of the freeways and 20% of rail. We have the best bus system in the country! We can make it even better for far less by building a better freeway system and adding more express buses. Cars are quickly getting greener and more energy efficient than rail. But if we are to do rail, then DO IT RIGHT!
on November 19,2011 | 02:29AM
soundofreason wrote:
"A last-ditch effort to hear everyone out before we make that final plunge will be offered and take place at the Mission Memorial Auditorium on Dec. 6, starting at 6 p.m.">> Enough testimony. In other states, politicians are getting recalled AFTER being put into office by voters, due to signatures collected. CERTAINLY, "an issue(rail) can be stopped AFTER the vote (SHAM vote)has been done and at a TIME when the State/Federal budget was VASTLY different. HOW many signatures are needed to stop this? A black and white goal. HOW many? Then let's GET them. PAU!
on November 19,2011 | 03:02AM
soundofreason wrote:
How's about taking that SAME 100K used to help ONE and instead help some poor Joe fund his start up company that will create JOBS........for MANY!!
on November 19,2011 | 03:31AM
soundofreason wrote:
^^^^^ wrong post area- tabs got switched from having to re-sign on.....AGAIN
on November 19,2011 | 04:03AM
rsgea wrote:
In my opinion, voters are ENTITLED to another vote. It's our money, our city, and our future....put it on the ballot.
on November 19,2011 | 03:47AM
kapoleitalkstory wrote:
We already voted time to move on and this rail project built.
on November 19,2011 | 09:48AM
soundofreason wrote:
Look at the ballot question again. Is 5.3 billion mentioned anywhere?
on November 19,2011 | 10:26AM
soundofreason wrote:
If not, YOU voted for gving somebody a blank check and that's NOT something smart or that you want to admit to when saying "we" already voted on this.
on November 19,2011 | 10:29AM
wondermn1 wrote:
IRT kapoleitalkstory, it was a fixed vote with a one-sided question not a real vote like DO YOU WANT A 4-7 BILLION DOLLAR STEEL ON STEEL RAIL SYSTEM THAT GOES FROM AN IMAGINARY CITY TO ALA MOANA.YES, OR NO
on November 19,2011 | 12:42PM
Kalli wrote:
With all the money being spread around for engineers, cosultants and political friends of Mufi and Peter, no one wants to kill the golden goose. Money is pouring into the political campaigns of the politicians so they won't change their minds about rail. What is never mentioned is that rail will cost over $70 Million per year just to operate and maintain, they there will also be all the spurs to Hawaii Kai, Millilani, Waianae that will cost Billions more. There will be no end to the expense.
on November 19,2011 | 04:30AM
aiea7 wrote:
Mr. Berg - as always, there is a lot of deception and misinformation in you commentary. You state that the Feds will subsidize 80% for highway construction - where are we going to get the land to build such a highway? Further building more highways only encourage more cars, this is not the goal for mass tranist systems. You stated that monorail and maglev systems should be explored since they are cheaper. Well, you are well aware of the monorail system in Las vegas, it was broken half the time and not suited for a 24 hour commuter rail system - too frail. A maglev commuter train is not viable because it would have to make stops every mile. Maglev is a high speed system, and in order to work properly it has to achieve speeds greater than 50 mph. A commuter train with stations spaced one mile apart would put too much strain on the maglev train brakes and system. Additionally, it still would need wheels because of the short distances between stops. It a bus mass transit system is best as you claim, why wasn't it implemented? There were valid reasons why. But you conveniently left out the answers. People are not fools as you may believe - the only fool here is you.
on November 19,2011 | 06:16AM
wondermn1 wrote:
IRT aiea7 It appears as the only fool is you aiea7 and your probably in on the Money in one way or the other. Tom Berg is the only one thinking rationally. (Ann Kobayashi as well) Now it appears as though other counncilmembers are now thinking as well, it looks like Tulsi Gabbord and Ernest Martin have now seen the light and are saying that we need to be sure before jumping in this STEEL ON STEEL MONSTER MUFI CHOO CHOO. The Bus is probably the way to go in Hawaii as its allready in place and will not Bankrupt the City & County + it appears to blend well with the Island lifestyle. We need to Vote and we should go back and change the clause ( act 247)that says we can't use the money in an intelligent manner but only for a Boondoggle Rail system that 99% do not want nor will use. Tom Berg we support you all the way and will vote you to the top.
on November 19,2011 | 06:55AM
bender wrote:
You ask why wasn't BRT implemented. It's because it was Jeremey Harris' idea and Mufi canned when he came to office. When you think back, Mufi and Jeremy weren't exactly friends so naturally Mufi would be more than eager to kill anything Jeremy started. But Mufi still needed to dream up something that would propel to higher elected office, and rail was it. I'm no fan of Jeremy but he probably did have this one right but we will never know. What we do know is that we are paying way too much for this system and that we will continue to subisidize rail to the tune of $100 million a year. That's in 2009 dollars so it will probably be closer to $150 million (and growing) by the time this pig gets built.
on November 19,2011 | 08:00AM
pakeheat wrote:
aiea7, instead of calling a person a fool, why don't you point out the positives of this rail? 20 stops for 20 miles? only 36 seats per rail car? 7 billion dollars minimum just to build and having the Feds pay only 20%? $70 million just to maintain each year? only a couple of thousand proposed parking stalls at the Kapolei station? one uni-sex toilet per station? Doesn't go to Waikiki and UH? .5% increase of the G.E.T.? Only fools believe that this rail is a good thing while I do agree that we don't have enough space for more highways however, how about slowing down growth on the West Side? What ever happened to the promised "Second City" decades ago? Did you also know that earlier surveys have majority did want rail but only a very small percentage will use it, why? Do you think those who voted in favor for rail was only because it would produce jobs, and not a "SOLUTION?" Where were you when the information brought out by the City that rail will produce 10,000 jobs, now we find out it's a complete flat out LIE? Where we you when Romy Chachola had his vote of yes if rail would go through Salt Lake and then it changed the route to the airport, which doesn't make sense, you mean tourists are willing to carry the baggage's on the train, get off at Ala Moana Shopping Center, catch the taxi or bus to Waikiki? Wake up aiea7, do you currently ride the bus or commute to work by car in town?
on November 19,2011 | 08:14AM
Kuniarr wrote:
There is deception and misinformation in your commentary concerning highways, aiea7. You talk of there being no land to build a highway. Now, where do you think will the 20-mile elevated platform for Rail is to be built? In the clouds? Do you know or did you deliberately ignore the fact that what Tom Berg was talking about concerning Managed and Reversible Lanes was Bus Rapid Transit - which, according to him a study conducted by former Mayor Harris - BRT beat Rail in Oahu. A highway for Buses and High Occupancy Vehicles would not only relieve traffic gridlock - which Rail won't be able to do - but also cost much cheaper for all taxpayers - which Rail and HART are not.
on November 19,2011 | 08:22AM
aiea7 wrote:
The footprint of the elevated rail is much smaller than it it were at ground level and most of the route is following existing roadway, which minimizes the need for condemnation of land. To build another freeway or managed lanes, it would be very difficult to build over existing roads, even if elevated since the lanes would be much larger than rail. And at some point much more land, especially in town,etc. would have to be condemned to obtain space to build the managed lanes, etc. This would push up the cost and displace much more people and businesses. BRT may have been cheaper than elevated rail, but the main reason it was not carried through was because the BRT system that harris devised was to take one lane each way of of service of the existing roadways, as cars would not be allowed on the bus lane. Since there were no plans to build new roads, this system would really cause more traffic than before, due to less lanes available for cars. All you anti-rail folks are looking at the cost and speculating that no one will ride the train, In the long run, the train would be cheaper since buses have to be replaced and repaired every so often, it requires a driver, and increase pollution. These factors were all considered. Further this first segment of the rail is what the city believed it could afford, eventually, it will go to UH and Waikik, but to have to start somewhere. So to say that it is not really functional because it does not go to a certain area is pure folly - it will someday, but not now.
on November 19,2011 | 10:33AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Indeed the footprint of the elevated rail is much smaller than if it were at ground level. But what prevents the construction of an elevated Manage or Reversible Lane structure using the same space needed for the elevated structure for Rail? For your information, the State already has a proposal for an elevated Reversible Lane structure (Nimitz Flyover) in the State's "Highway Modernization Plan; Oahu projects " which makes your argument of "difficult to build" against an elevated reversible lane structure moot. A University of Texas study involving cost of operating BRT against LRT came to the conclusion "In concluding, the author concludes that, on average, “BRT can outperform LRT in providing a moderate to high level of service capacity at a moderate level of capital and operating costs in neighborhoods with moderate population and job densities.” But keep in mind that what you are favoring is not Light but Heavy Rail where electric power to run a train is provided by a third rail and not by overhead wires. As Councilman Berg wrote, Rail compared to a highway "moves no goods, services or freight, and is worthless in times of emergency evacuations,"
on November 19,2011 | 01:01PM
aiea7 wrote:
An elevated managed lane freeway which has 2 or more lanes would like have more than one column supporting the elevated system. Hence, there may be 2 or three columns, requiring more land space to build the columns. Right now with only one column supporting the elevated rail, that one column could fit nicely in the median strips or take up only one lane. That is the difference. That reversible nimitz flyover has been in the state's transportatiion plans for many years - absolutely no one has believed that it is an answer to our traffic congestion, that is why it has not advanced any further. The texas study was done for texas, not hawaii. Each local has different needs, geographical constraints, topoghraphy, etc. If you are going to build BRT system in Hawaii, you will need a dedicated system, requiring more land, etc. Land is super expensive on Oahu, so the cost study done in texas is not applicable to Oahu. Not sure berg's comments are correct, he is just making those comments without specific proof. In case of a tsunami, we need roads that lead up to the hills, etc, not one that runs parallel to the the ocean. Most of our major roads runs near the ocean. And the rail is a commuter rail, not designed to move freight, so his comments are way off base. That is the problem with you anti-railer, you make all kinds of ludicrous statements without proof and try to pass it off as fact.
on November 19,2011 | 02:10PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Contrary to your opinion, an elevated managed lane freeway which has 2 or more lanes would have only a single column - as illustrated in the artist rendering of the proposed Nimitz Flyover (Highway Modernization Plan: Oahu Projects - http://hawaii.gov/dot/highways/modernization/oahu). The proposed Nimitz Flyover is an elevated structure supported by single columns with at least two reversible lanes. What Councilman Berg says is that the proposed heavy rail system is unlike an elevated highway incapable of transporting goods, services and freight. Do not forget also the fact that an elevated highway for vehicles - unlike heavy rail - allows those vehicles to proceed to destinations beyond the end of the elevated highway.
on November 19,2011 | 02:54PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Mr. Berg- All voices should be heard, and I applaud you for speaking out. I have huge questions about the viability of this rail sytem also, but the council voted overwhelmingly AGAINST your proposal. Those other 7 Council members (as well as you and Ms. Kobayashi) will be accountable by their constituents and we'll see where that falls. Everyone should also keep in mind that your district voted overwhelmingly for candidates other than you in your special election to the council. If I recall, you only received about 18.5% of the vote? You are entitled to your opinion, but don't forget, it appears to be a minority opinion.
on November 19,2011 | 06:48AM
Kuniarr wrote:
DowntownGreen, your parting shot that because Tom Berg received only 18.5% of the vote in the 2010 special elections it appears to you that his opinion is a minority opinion is deceiving. There were 14 candidates to fill a vacant council seat which is why 18.5% was a distinct majority. You are also entitled to your opinion that anti-rail opinions are a minority but it also appears that comments in this thread are overwhelmingly anti-rail.
on November 19,2011 | 09:26AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
18.5% is a plurality, not a majority. A majority is 50% +1. 81.5% of Mr. Berg's district voted for someone other than him. That's a fact, not a "shot". And the percentage of the commenters on this blog is simply that, commenters on this blog. Because they agree with you Mr. Slater does not make them representative of the population as a whole. Especially when there are paid people for BOTH sides on here.
on November 19,2011 | 10:30AM
Kuniarr wrote:
To say that Tom Berg received about 18.5% of the vote and at the same time write Mr. Berg's district voted for someone other than him and that his opinion appears to be a minority opinion is blatant deception and misinformation. Mr. Berg's 18.5% is a "majority" because most voters voted for Berg than for each and every single 13 other candidates. Councilman Berg got more votes than any of the 13 other candidates which is why Tom Berg was elected to the city council. Is it not true about what I said that majority of the comments in this tread are anti-rail?
on November 19,2011 | 02:13PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Look up the words "majority" and "plurality" in any didctionary and you will see how mistaken you are. We all know better than to expect you to ever admit you are wrong, but you go right ahead and keep making a falacious argument if it makes you happy . Mr. Berg won the election in his District fair and square by the rules of the electoral process here in Hawaii and I never disputed that for a second. I admire his guts for standing up for what he believes in like he does, but your assertion that 18.5% is a "majority" is just plain ridiculous. I could not care any less about the majority of posts on this forum being anti-rail (or pro rail for that matter if that was the case0 because it is statistically insignificant. My point,for those on here who posess critical thinking skills, was that the number of individuals posting on here is miniscule and not representative of the community as a whole. Especially considering the multiple screen names of some of the posters and the paid lobbyists. Any researcher that actually knows how to do valid statistical research would tell you the same thing. A majority of posts on here are anti-rail? Yes. Does that matter? No. How many of them are yours? Depends on when you count, but it always appears to be lots and lots of them....
on November 19,2011 | 05:16PM
Kuniarr wrote:
So I was mistaken in the interpretation of "majority". But I am correct in my comment that Tom Berg won the most votes than the other 13 candidates. You engaged in - using the words of aiea6 - "deception and misinformation" with your remark "your district voted overwhelmingly for candidates other than you in your special election to the council. If I recall, you only received about 18.5% of the vote". Sure the district voted overwhelmingly for other candidates and that Mr. Berg received only 18.5% of the votes. . But what you deliberately omitted was that the election was based on "plurality" and not "majority". No matter the innuendos, the fact remains that most of the comments in this thread are anti-rail.
on November 19,2011 | 06:44PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
100% of what I said was the truth. And it is obvious to anyone, except you, that reads the thread. You just don't like it. And read the fine print Waipahu, saying that I used "deception and misinformation" when everything I said was the truth, is not exactly "civil" of you.
on November 19,2011 | 09:18PM
Kuniarr wrote:
I agree that there was truth in your comments. Except that it was that there was deception and misinformation. You knew for a fact that Tom Berg won his council seat by "plurality" not by majority. So, why the heck did you even write that Mr. Berg got only 18.5% of the vote and that his district voted overwhelmingly for candidates other than Mr. Berg? Were you trying to deceive and misinform the people reading your comments who do not know that a "plurality" and not a "majority" vote was necessary to be elected into office in the city council by giving them the impression that Mr. Berg did not deserve getting elected to a seat in the city council.
on November 19,2011 | 10:13PM
aiea7 wrote:
Waipahu, see what I mean, you really don't know english - how can 18.5% be considered a majority?
on November 19,2011 | 10:36AM
Kuniarr wrote:
aiea7, be aware that the fine print above suggests that remarks be civil and in good taste. Now then. Receiving 18.5% votes is a majority when the ratio is to that of any of the votes garnered by each and every single 13 other candidates. The criterion used to elect Tom Berg was who would garner the most votes cast. Tom Berg got 2,326 votes against 1,950 for his nearest rival, Jason Espero. 2,326 votes is 54.39% more than 1,950.
on November 19,2011 | 02:29PM
aiea7 wrote:
wow, this takes the cake; now you are trying to create your own definitions. Ludicrous and silly. He won the election by a plurality of the votes, which definitely is not a majority. Please think before you speack. Where did you go to school? Bet every student in that school was "left behind."
on November 19,2011 | 09:38PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Is it not that between two candidates, the person with the most votes has a majority, I specifically specified the boundaries when I used the word "majority" to the ration to that of Mr. Berg against any of the votes garnered by each and every single 13 other candidates. Meaning not the entire 14 candidates but a comparison of the ratio between votes garnered by Mr. Berg and eacn of all the 13 candidates. By ratio means the result of dividing the vote garnered by Mr. Berg against the 2nd, against the 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on.
on November 19,2011 | 10:25PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Some posters have trouble admitting they're wrong or that their position doesn't hold water and it seems you have stumbled into the land of the king of obfuscation, talking points and ridiculous rhetoric.
on November 20,2011 | 06:40AM
islandsun wrote:
Berg doesn't go far enough. The public wants another vote on rail, properly worded this time. No more gimmicks. He should start a referendum to get another ballot going. All of this dancing around is designed to confuse voters. How about Kobayashi? Is she up for it. In your hearts you know it will kill us.
on November 19,2011 | 07:11AM
Pukele wrote:
Managed lanes are superior to rail in all categories relating to commuters. Express buses are faster, can carry more people, are cheaper to build and operate than rail. Managed lanes could have been used for dignitaries during APEC. Managed lanes can carry all our first responders. Managed Lanes can carry all our commercial vehicles. Support the lawsuit against rail. We need a fresh start that looks at all alternatives. There is no city on the Mainland that is building a new elevated heavy rail system like Honolulu.
on November 19,2011 | 07:35AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I think the public has a pretty good handle on what this rail thing is all about. A vote would be superfluous. I say we just put Tom Enomoto in charge of the whole thing and call it done. The fix is in.
on November 19,2011 | 07:38AM
bender wrote:
One more crack? I think we deserve the first crack. In other jurisdictions voters are first asked if they are willing to pay higher taxes to support some form of mass transit. That question always gets asked and answered before any decisions are made on what form of transit will be built. But in Hawaii we were told we would be taxed, so just pay up and shut up. As for the phony vote in Honolulu, that was akin to we're going to do this so pick your poison. The question should have been, do you want to do this.
on November 19,2011 | 07:39AM
Kuniarr wrote:
"How did our government dupe the public into thinking we were to get the best traffic solution available? It did so via Act 247, Hawaii Session Laws 2005, which included language that any general excise tax increase on Oahu cannot be used for highway technology such as managed lanes, reversible expressways or what we refer to as bus rapid transit." - Tom Berg. That is an indictment of the entire city council, Mufi, and today Peter Carlisle. It smacks of ethical corruption.
on November 19,2011 | 07:52AM
aiea7 wrote:
waipahu - another example of your misunderstanding - it was the state legislature that enacted Act 247, not the city council or the city administration. The city does not have the power to levy a GET so they had to have the legislature enact the supplemental GET for mass transit; and it was the legislature who made all the restrictions in the law. Originally the city want a 1% GET increase but the legislature cut it to .5%. The city wanted 1% because it wanted to have a system to run from west Kapolei to UH Manoa via the airport and a spur to Waikiki. Because of the cut to .5%, the city then had to scale back its plans, which resulted in the current route (minimum operable system) of about 20 miles, which was adopted by the city council. Hanneman did not want to irk the legislature and agreed to the reduction; there was also a disagreement as to the collection of the taxes and the state first want the city to collect the tax, but the city said that it was more logical that the state do the collection because they were already set up, but then the state argued that it needed to be repaid for its work; hence, the 10% fee for the collection. Do you understand now? You are blaming the wrong folks.
on November 19,2011 | 01:04PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Of course the city does not have the power to levy a GET. But you yourself confirmed that "Originally the city want(ed) a 1% GET increase". In other words, Act 247 came to exist on the behest of the city. Which also means that on the behest of the city, the provisions of Act 247 can be revised to include highways.
on November 19,2011 | 03:14PM
Kuniarr wrote:
That on the behest of the city the GET would exclude highways and traffic relief is an indictment on the ethical corruption involved in Rail. There was really no intention to bring relief to traffic gridlock when the city and Mufi pushed for Act 247 simply because it excluded the only thing that can bring relief to traffic gridlock - managed lanes or reversible lanes.
on November 19,2011 | 03:21PM
hybrid1 wrote:
The right folks are being blamed.. Carlisle declared "Rail is fiscally irresponsible!!!" on video at fixoahunow.com.
on November 22,2011 | 07:01AM
pakeheat wrote:
David Shapiro's today's commentary stated Hawaii has the fourth highest debt per capita in the nation. I guess wiliki, aiea7, defunk BuildRailNow, Go-Rail-Go Alicia M., and etc., with rail it is going to lower that amount, NOT! HA HA HA HA HA HA!
on November 19,2011 | 08:51AM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
Honolulu cannot afford rail. The rail could have been affordable with the last ditch effort by the Fasi administration. Canada was willing to pay all the cost with no cost to the Honolulu taxpayer. However, the council voted against the project by one vote. I will not mention her name but I now believe she is probably regretting her vote. Canada was requesting to manage all vendor stops along the rail's path. The council voted no! Three decades later.. this project is no longer affordable for Honolulu, The reality is that Hawaii/Honolulu Government is one paycheck away from bankruptcy. Four plus decades of the one sided majority has stifled our growth. There is not enough revenue to sustain our pension programs. The legislators have over extended spending. WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR RAIL? The top 1%?
on November 19,2011 | 09:55AM
islandsun wrote:
You got most of it!!
on November 19,2011 | 02:35PM
kapoleitalkstory wrote:
The voters deserve another crack at voting who will represent them in 1st District oh wait they will have one in less than year! Good bye Berg time for you to go back to your home planet!
on November 19,2011 | 09:47AM
soundofreason wrote:
He'll get his office back again and more. And I'm gonna laugh and laugh when HE is the guy that HAS to get voted in for Mayor to fix all of this financial mess. Laugh and laugh.
on November 19,2011 | 11:12AM
wondermn1 wrote:
I personally think Tom Berg is trying to save the city Of Honolulu from making the biggest mistake ever, THE RAIL in its present form. I hope he gets enough backing to one day become our Mayor and onwards to Govenor. I know he will get the votes of the people watching or listning to him. He speaks for the majority of Hawaii and even the children that listen agree with his ideas. Its the mainland construction and architects like KP AND PB that are lining their pockets along with the Unions that overcharge for their work to pay the union leaders that are against him. not the THINKING PUBLIC that have to pay the tax.
on November 19,2011 | 01:02PM
Anonymous wrote:
Rail opponents will never be satisfied with the democratic process. Two votes, one for steel wheels and steel rails and another to establish HART, and they still won't accept the will of the majority. The 2008 ballot measure, which was approved by a significant majority, specifically called for the system Berg doesn't like. Too bad. Let's get on with it.
on November 19,2011 | 11:06AM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
Where is the money to build rail? For the maintenance of rail? What about our roads? What about the sewer system? Our city park bathrooms? Why are we spending money for new projects when we cannot afford to maintain what we now have? Regarding the democratic process...we did not vote to have rail, we were given the opportunity to vote for pneumatic or steel. That was not a vote to favor rail. Our lawmakers need a reality check on revenue vs. expenses or to retake EC-101!
on November 19,2011 | 11:36AM
pakeheat wrote:
Anonymous, 53% to 46% in favor of rail in 2008, WOW, such a significant majority after Mufi bombarded the air waves with pro ads on rail, shiny brochure was even produced? If rail was such a good thing, why wasn't the majority in the 80%? That should lay claim that people want rail, isn't that so? Are you planning to use rail on a daily basis when it gets finished?
on November 19,2011 | 04:39PM
polekasta wrote:
That's the problem, the first vote was for steel on steel. There was never a vote by the public to authorize to build the rail system.
on November 19,2011 | 08:24PM
FrankGenadio wrote:
It is probably a waste of time to respond directly to "aiea7" since he or she knows perfectly well that an urban mag-lev is a different system from the high-speed TransRapid that runs in Shanghai. This commentary is for those of you who may think his or her comments are accurate. The Nagoya HSST (also called the Linimo) is a medium-speed system, is not a conventional monorail (i.e., not the same as the Las Vegas system), has station separations similar to what is planned here, has no problem with wear and tear on brakes (hence its 99.97 percent reliability in well over six years of revenue operations), does not use wheels (and even stays levitated at the stations), and is much, much quieter than any steel wheels system. As for an elevated system's "footprint," the mag-lev's guideway would cost 20 percent less to build and be much less physically and visually imposing than the steel wheels "bridge" or any elevated highway that would be used for HOT lanes. Also, for those of you wondering about operations and maintenance costs, savings with a mag-lev will be 25-30 percent per year. "aiea7" knows all of this but, I am sure, doesn't like hearing it. Those of us who followed it also know that the resolution issue on the question for the 2008 ballot was bungled by the City Council and a misled public responded to an orchestrated "disinformation" campaign by the Hannemann administration.
on November 19,2011 | 11:37AM
ffejhonolulu wrote:
It's all in the wording of the measure !! Last time no one realling knew exactly what they were voting for. Tom Berg show us how you would word your measure, then we can critique it before it's puit out to vote !!!
on November 19,2011 | 11:38AM
FrankGenadio wrote:
As usual when I post, it takes forever to get something entered. Nobody answers at the newspaper's online number. Anyway; trying again. It is probably a waste of time to respond directly to "aiea7" since he or she knows perfectly well that an urban mag-lev is a different system from the high-speed TransRapid that runs in Shanghai. This commentary is for those of you who may think his or her comments are accurate. The Nagoya HSST (also called the Linimo) is a medium-speed system, is not a conventional monorail (i.e., not the same as the Las Vegas system), has station separations similar to what is planned here, has no problem with wear and tear on brakes (hence its 99.97 percent reliability in well over six years of revenue operations), does not use wheels (and even stays levitated at the stations), and is much, much quieter than any steel wheels system. As for an elevated system's "footprint," the mag-lev's guideway would cost 20 percent less to build and be much less physically and visually imposing than the steel wheels "bridge" or any elevated highway that would be used for HOT lanes. Also, for those of you wondering about operations and maintenance costs, savings with a mag-lev will be 25-30 percent per year. "aiea7" knows all of this but, I am sure, doesn't like hearing it. Those of us who followed it also know that the resolution issue on the question for the 2008 ballot was bungled by the City Council and a misled public responded to an orchestrated "disinformation" campaign by the Hannemann administration.
on November 19,2011 | 12:39PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Aloha: It is clear from readers' comments that there are still a few folks who believe that a vote for steel-on-steel or some other form of railroad was a vote on whether or not we want any kind of railroad. Wrong. That ballot question was carefully worded to deceive the voting public because City surveys (that we paid for) showed that a huge majority of the voters did not want any kind of a railroad at all between Kapolei and Ala Moana Shopping Center. Some did not oppose a railroad, if it served Waikiki and the Airport, and Manoa, home of our largest university. But those who supported the railroad that is now being pushed down our throats were in single figures. A handful of folks in Kapolei who wanted to shop at Ala Moana and who didn't mind paying $20 for a RT to and from the store said "yes." But more than 95 percent of O`ahu residents don't live anywhere near the proposed railroad and could not/would not use it. They will not drive from all over the Island to park their car, take a shuttle to one of 20 train stations along that coastal route to town, only to have to take a bus or cab to their destination once they arrived on the roof the Nordstrom Store at Ala Moana. The City knew that and still knows that most people don't want, won't use and can't afford the proposed train. If our elected "officials" want to serve the public they would let us have a "yes" or "no" vote and end this fiasco. It would give them an "out" as they could then say they did the right thing in killing construction of the most expensive (per mile) railroad in the world, because the voters told them to do so.
on November 19,2011 | 01:37PM
aiea7 wrote:
The wording on the ballot was authored by Djou who is anti-rail, so how can you state that it was done to deceive the citizens. Of course, people in Hawaii Kai, Kalua, Kaneohe, North shore, etc, wouild not use the rail, this is really a silly statement; the proposed rail was not designed for them but for the folks on the west side corridor, runniing from Kapolei to UH and Waikiki. But because of the reduction in the GET by the legislature, the system had to be scaled back (perfectly logical). In the future, there are plans to complete the UH Manoa and Waikiki spur as funds become available. But, you have to start somewhere, eventuall, possibly there will be trains going north, south, east and west. Your rationale is ludicrous, there are irrelevant and spurious.
on November 19,2011 | 02:19PM
islandsun wrote:
Lets hear that from Djou....
on November 19,2011 | 04:13PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The folks on the west side corridor wanted relief from traffic gridlock not Rail.
on November 19,2011 | 06:55PM
FrankGenadio wrote:
As usual when I post, it takes forever to get something entered. Nobody answered at the newspaper's online number, the senior guy in the newsroom said someone would get back to me (still waiting). and (in the meantime) I see other postings after my attempt. Anyway; trying for the third time. It is probably a waste of time to respond directly to "aiea7" since he or she knows perfectly well that an urban mag-lev is a different system from the high-speed TransRapid that runs in Shanghai. This commentary is for those of you who may think his or her comments are accurate. The Nagoya HSST (also called the Linimo) is a medium-speed system, is not a conventional monorail (i.e., not the same as the Las Vegas system), has station separations similar to what is planned here, has no problem with wear and tear on brakes (hence its 99.97 percent reliability in well over six years of revenue operations), does not use wheels (and even stays levitated at the stations), and is much, much quieter than any steel wheels system. As for an elevated system's "footprint," the mag-lev's guideway would cost 20 percent less to build and be much less physically and visually imposing than the steel wheels "bridge" or any elevated highway that would be used for HOT lanes. Also, for those of you wondering about operations and maintenance costs, savings with a mag-lev will be 25-30 percent per year. "aiea7" knows all of this but, I am sure, doesn't like hearing it. Those of us who followed it also know that the resolution issue on the question for the 2008 ballot was bungled by the City Council and a misled public responded to an orchestrated "disinformation" campaign by the Hannemann administration.
on November 19,2011 | 02:32PM
aiea7 wrote:
Frank - please be frank, the linimo system was a test system in 2005 and there has been no similar system built since then. Taiwan was supposed to replicate a similar system but decided not to. If the linimo was so great (reliable, cheap, quiet, etc.), why then there has been no other system since? Even the midium distance maglev being built in china and korea consider their systems as test systems. What does "test system" imply? Something new, not proven, etc. So, you want honolulu to gamble on a test system, which no one has tried to replicate. You want a commuter meglev system that goes upwards to 50 mph to travel one mile and then stop on a dime. The ride will take about 13 seconds this high speed stop and go will not only be hard on the hardware but the passengers as well. Try driving your car up to 50 miles per hour, which would take about 8 to 10 seconds, and then step on the brake to stop in 2-5 seconds. How does it feel? Can you car be able to withstand this kind of driving (accelerate to 50 mph and stop every 16 seconds or so) 24 hours a day? If you include time to load and unload, 2-3 minutes, then this stop and go will occur 20-24 times and hour. Is this not insane?
on November 19,2011 | 09:53PM
BillD wrote:
Keep voting until you get the result you want and if it fails then the voters are idiots. Got it. Somepeople just don't respect democracy. The people have spoken. You lost, deal with it..
on November 19,2011 | 03:03PM
Anonymous wrote:
Although Mr. Berg is pro-rail, he is pro-taxpayer because he proposes lesser tax burden thru public-private funding of a rail system such as a monorail and magnetic levitation system.
on November 28,2011 | 09:27AM
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