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Anti-rail group will appeal federal court decision

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 02:08 p.m. HST, Feb 13, 2013

An anti-rail group will appeal a federal judge's ruling in late December refusing to halt construction on the city's $5.26 billion rail project.

The group that includes former Gov. Ben Cayetano notified the federal court this week that it will appeal to the U. S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals the Dec. 27 ruling by visiting federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima.

The group will also contest Tashima's earlier rulings that threw out the group's environmental and historic preservation claims.

Tashima did require the city to conduct more studies on the rail's impact on Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako; the feasibility of an alternate downtown route through a tunnel under Beretania Street, and cultural sites along the 20-mile route from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.

But the judge ruled construction can still proceed while the additional studies are conducted.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the appeal is not a surprise.

"Everyone has the right to appeal," Caldwell said in a news release. "There are no benefits to this continued litigation. It only serves to drive up costs in legal fees and delays. ... The trial court rejected nearly all their arguments."

The mayor said the case has cost the city more than $2.1 million in outside attorneys fees.

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gsc wrote:
I wish the Roads were fixed ...
on February 13,2013 | 01:11PM
OldDiver wrote:
Still sour after being rejected by the voters Ben is going back on his word that the voters should decide the fate of rail. It is clear Ben is not interested in what the voters want but is only concerned about his hurt feelings. Time to grow up and act like a mature adult.
on February 13,2013 | 02:27PM
Kuniarr wrote:
This rail project is based on propaganda and falsehood

(1) The bozos keep mouthing Traffic Jams to justify Rail when in truth and in fact rail does not in any manner eliminate nor relieve traffic jams. The fact of the matter is that Traffic Jams are now relieved in several cities in the US by making highways Smart.

(2) GET surcharge funding contrary to a claim of a 5.04% growth to the FTA, the GET revenue trend actually has gone down since the $49.80 million quarterly collection in the 2nd quarter of 2011.
on February 13,2013 | 02:46PM
Kuniarr-explain to me how in fact the rail CANNOT impact the traffic congestion? Obviously, it is not a cure all measure, but to say will not help shows a totally inept thought process.
on February 13,2013 | 03:01PM
Kuniarr wrote:
GONEGOLFIN - do you know what a TRAFFIC JAM is all about that rail is suppose to relieve?

For your information, a traffic jam occurs whenever two or more lanes of even moderately light traffic converge onto a single lane.

Are you not aware that traffic jams occur whenever an accident happens on the H1 even during non-rush hours? Are you not aware that for years now - yes YEARS - traffic jams in several cities have been relieved by making highway Smart (meaning thru the 21st century technology)? For example, traffic jams used to happen at the junction of H26 and H47 in Portland, Oregon. Are you not aware, GONEGOLFIN that these traffic jams - similar, if not identical to that on the H-1 - have been relieved or practically eliminated by making H26 "smart" thru the use of 21st century technology? Do you even know what I am talking abut when I say making a highway "smart" thru the use of 21st century technology?
on February 13,2013 | 04:44PM
jakwa wrote:
Yeah, you probably live on the east side so the west side traffic no bother you.
on February 13,2013 | 09:46PM
Kuniarr wrote:
jakwa what everyone should know is that traffic jams on the H1 could have long been relieved or even eliminated. Yes, jakwa do you not even know that there should have been no more traffic jams on the H1 since 2005? Traffic jam relief on Interstate Highways in the Mainland have been discovered for almost 10 years now. Last year in January, the H26 which was suffering weekly traffic jams like that on the H1 at the junction of H26 and H47 was made "smarter" and as a result no more traffic jams on the H26.
on February 13,2013 | 11:29PM
wondermn1 wrote:
on February 14,2013 | 02:56AM
bender wrote:
By this city's own admission, rail will not ease any traffic congestion. It's in their planning documents has been made public. So it begs the question, if rail will not ease traffic congestion then why spend $5.3 billion?
on February 14,2013 | 04:40AM
Wazdat wrote:
Yup, all you hear about is rail, rail, rail. FIX and PAVE the ROADS...
on February 13,2013 | 03:00PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Nuff already Manong........sure glad this senior citizen was not elected Mayor.
on February 13,2013 | 03:29PM
Skyler wrote:
Wouldn't cost anything if they ditched the rail & put all that $ into actually building roads in Hawaii out of something other than black-colored kitty litter. And before the railers start squawking about 'but the .5% tax is ONLY for rail'... laws written can be changed by the law makers.
on February 13,2013 | 01:11PM
ChaelSonnen wrote:
So fixing the roads so they are made out of concrete rather than asphalt will be the solution to traffic? Sigh.
on February 13,2013 | 07:53PM
Skyler wrote:
Rail isn't a solution to 'traffic' except for the handful of people who will ride it. It's a Union, banker, and developer's gift from Mufi, et al.
on February 13,2013 | 09:14PM
jm3 wrote:
on February 13,2013 | 01:15PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Stop funding road work. Use the money to make Rail better. Longer routes, deluxe cabins, resort like stations.
on February 13,2013 | 03:46PM
aomohoa wrote:
Go back to sleep your dreaming. I call it a nitemare though.
on February 13,2013 | 08:34PM
bender wrote:
And don't forget WiFi, that cures all ills.
on February 14,2013 | 04:41AM
FrankieT wrote:
Well, you have a point there. Yes, the roads are in bad shape and the buses need better accommodating schedules, however, with the rail service, the roads wouldn't be so crowded and married up the bus schedule would make traveling on Oahu much, much better. Doesn't look like you will ever see the light rail in our lifetime and the roads will never get fixed, and, and, more cars and no time to fix the roads, CATCH 22
on February 14,2013 | 06:18AM
frontman wrote:
The city is acting like Obama ............... do it or I'll bypass the laws of the state and do it anyway.
on February 13,2013 | 01:39PM
hybrid1 wrote:
The year 2030 Leeward commuter DEMAND is 15,000 people per peak hour above the existing highway capacity at the H-1/H-2 merge bottleneck..Table 3-12, City Alternative Analysis. ................................. The rail carries only 4,000 people per hour so this leaves a shortfall of 11,000 commuters per hour which still need transportation.......................... This shortfall will require at least 200 new express buses per hour to serve west Oahu, even AFTER the rail is operating...................FACT: the people can't use the rail cattle cars because of lack of rail capacity...even if they stand throughout the entire commute distance.
on February 13,2013 | 02:00PM
ChaelSonnen wrote:
Yeah forget the fact that RAIL HAS WON ON THE BALLOT MORE THAN ONCE!
on February 13,2013 | 07:55PM
silvangold wrote:
on February 13,2013 | 01:45PM
Valleyisle57 wrote:
What everyone is failing to see is that if this small group succeeds then we will all pay through our tax dollars to fight this in court. And it will still go through once all is said and done!
on February 13,2013 | 01:52PM
palika wrote:
Yup, like I said....look at H-3 as an example. It cost thousands more taxpayer dollars to build due to the lawsuits and delays, yet everone uses it and finds it convenient now. Do you think any of those H-3 opponents take Likelike or Pali to get to Aloha Stadium, airport or the west side today? Give anyone 5 bucks to find someone who does.
on February 13,2013 | 02:23PM
8082062424 wrote:
That may be but H3 still might not be built if not for Daniel Inouye pulling a rabbit out of the hat. He is no longer here. and i think because of delays it tool almost 30 years. by the way i have never used H3
on February 13,2013 | 02:47PM
Wazdat wrote:
can't even compare the 2...H3 paid with 80% federal dollars.
on February 13,2013 | 03:01PM
ChaelSonnen wrote:
Agreed, You can't reason with them. They've moved here to Hawaii to retire and couldn't care less about the people who live on the West side. The puzzling one is Ben. Since he's from here you would think he'd understand but no. He hangs out with the Republicans now.
on February 13,2013 | 07:57PM
Skyler wrote:
The Westside? You mean East Kapolei? hahaha
on February 13,2013 | 09:15PM
hybrid1 wrote:
Table 3-12, City Alternative Analysis:...Screenline: Kalauao Stream Koko Head bound: H-1 Highway capacity: 9,500 vehicles per hour (vph)................................................ H-1 Observed Traffic volume = 10,960 vph :.... Vehicle overload = 10,960 minus 9,500 = 1,460 vph................................................... H-1 Forecast volume with rail operating Kapolei to Ala Moana Center: = 17,209 vph................H-1 Vehicle Over load = 17,209 minus 9,500 = 7,709 vph................................................ Conclusion: With rail operating from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, H-1 traffic overload at H-1/H-2 merge in year 2030 = 7,709 vph overload divided by 9,500 vph capacity = 811 percent vph above existing highway H-1 capacity !.
on February 13,2013 | 01:58PM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
So what is the forecast H-1 vehicle overload if rail is NOT built? It's disingenous to compare today's baseline condition to the forecast with rail. What's fair is to compare the forecast with rail to the forecast without rail.
on February 13,2013 | 02:02PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The difference is a piddly 2%-3%. It's in the report. That's why we all scream that rail is about development not traffic relief.
on February 13,2013 | 02:32PM
OldDiver wrote:
Even Cliff Slater has acknowledged traffic will be worse without rail. HIs disingenuous play on words which was designed to make people believe the opposite were repeated without shame by Ben Cayetano.
on February 13,2013 | 02:35PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Not if the bozos in the State DOT adopt what several DOT has done to relieve Traffic Jams like that happening on the H-1 in Georgia, Florida, Oregon, etc.
on February 13,2013 | 02:53PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Portland has rail. Miami has rail. Atlanta has rail. I assume you're talking about managed lanes or toll roads, which make people pay to use the roads they've already paid to build. They just moves the traffic jams from one highway to another that's not a toll road or onto the city streets.
on February 13,2013 | 04:51PM
DPK wrote:
Bluesbreaker: Atlanta's rail system is failing. I lived there for 3 decades starting when it was built new. Great system, but nobody rides it. They are begging for tax dollars, which lost in the last election. Schedule cutbacks, deferred maintenance, dirty cars are what's left. But Atlanta keeps its parks and restrooms clean. No sewage spills either.
on February 13,2013 | 07:24PM
Kuniarr wrote:
BluesBreaker it only goes to show that those who propagate Rail mouthing the nonsense about it as an alternative to Traffic are behind the times. Managed lanes and toll roads are not it, BluesBreaker.

It is impossible for Rail to bring relief to traffic jams on the H1 such as the monster of a traffic jam that took place on Haloween last year (2012).

What would bring relief to traffic jams on the H1 is making the H1 "Smart" like what the DOT of Oregon did on H26 in Portland Oregon to relieve traffic jams or to practically eliminate it.
on February 13,2013 | 08:29PM
niimi wrote:
Worst by 3%--wow. Rail really is going to solve the problem--eyes rolling. NOT!
on February 13,2013 | 04:06PM
Kuniarr wrote:
HawaiiMongoose are you not aware that Traffic Jams like that happening on the H-1 weekly have actually been relieved in several cities of the US thru the use of 21st century technology?
on February 13,2013 | 02:50PM
niimi wrote:
And Steel on steel technology was invented in, oh, the 1800s. Yes, folks, that's the 19th century. But as we say, Hawaii always lags behind the mainland. Yup.
on February 13,2013 | 04:09PM
hybrid1 wrote:
The year 2030 West Oahu commuter DEMAND is 15,000 people per peak hour above the existing highway capacity according to the City's Alternative Analysis. ............... The reckless $7 Billion rail carries only 3,000 people per hour (70% Standees) so this leaves a shortfall of 11,000 west Oahu commuters per hour which will still need transportation to downtown via H-1 freeway, Moanalua Hwy and Kam hwy.
on February 14,2013 | 08:02AM
palika wrote:
These plaintiffs are really acting like the Congress, with the Republican obstructionists challenging everything Obama is trying to do. In the end, the tax paying public picks up the tab for the delays and added costs. Just like H-3, rail will cost thousands of dollars more due to the opposition lawsuits, and in the end, everyone will use it and find it convenient.
on February 13,2013 | 02:19PM
OldDiver wrote:
Ben has been blinded by self pity and is putting self interest before public interest. The public has spoken, time to ride off into the sunset.
on February 13,2013 | 02:31PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Same way you are blinded by your rail bias.
on February 13,2013 | 02:54PM
8082062424 wrote:
Everyone will not use it. that such a false statement. for the most part it will be those that ride the bus now that will use it. more like everyone is hoping other will use it so they can enjoy there drive better
on February 13,2013 | 02:49PM
iansuen wrote:
Can you name any examples where everyone WILL use it? Just because I don't use H2 doesn't mean its existence is not worth anything.
on February 13,2013 | 03:21PM
Mythman wrote:
Extrapolating to the future as the basis for a claim today is fortune telling. Only the past and the present is objectively knowable, the future is a prediction and when the good old boys are doing the forecasting, well, we all know how that works, don't we. Maybe the economy will pick up while the appeal process inches along and the make work jobs of rail will not be needed as the economy picks up and makes real jobs? Germany has a better system for full employment and unemployment.
on February 13,2013 | 02:20PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
And if things don't work at the 9th Circuit, try the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, let's keep the prohibition against construction in place. Perhaps we can out wait this turkey of project.
on February 13,2013 | 02:30PM
bleedgreen wrote:
Ben Cayetano lost his bid to be mayor, but he continues this fight. He should just fade away.
on February 13,2013 | 02:36PM
control wrote:
So, is Ben and Cliff personally paying for all the attorneys in this case? Lawsuits aren't cheap yet this bunch always seems to have plenty of funding for multiple lawsuits. Where is it coming from??? Grassroots effort, local? I think not.
on February 13,2013 | 02:52PM
Wazdat wrote:
Fix and Pave the ROADS...ASAP
on February 13,2013 | 02:59PM
chacha555 wrote:
they cannot use the rail money to fix roads etc. it was only to be used for the rail project
on February 13,2013 | 03:18PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Don't fix and pave, get rid of roads.......eventually get rid of cars, like we got rid of horse and buggies in the late 1800's..The people were screaming at the government back then to pick up horse poop.
on February 13,2013 | 03:40PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
$$$$ for lawsuits come from Oil and Car people......more people ride rail,less cars sold,less profits on gas.
on February 13,2013 | 03:37PM
iansuen wrote:
The more time and money they spend on legal matters, the more burden it places on them. If Ben and his group truly believe they are in the right, the verdict will show itself in the future. I'll be looking forward to that. Until then, I believe the best action to take at this point is to use all other avenues to improve rail without dismantling it completely.
on February 13,2013 | 03:02PM
zhawaii wrote:
These anti-rail people are just costing the city more and more money.
on February 13,2013 | 03:04PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Yeah, the people have spoken, shut it down already.
on February 13,2013 | 03:22PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
No the people have spoken, Berg is gone, Cayetano is an after taste....rail moves forward, get out of the way. Honolulu has voted, NO to cayetaNO, yes to CANWELL.
on February 13,2013 | 03:43PM
NITRO08 wrote:
That's a fact!
on February 14,2013 | 05:53AM
niimi wrote:
Imagine Ben speaking pidgin to da judges at da Supreme Court ladat? Nah, he wouldn't be the one.
on February 13,2013 | 03:55PM
niimi wrote:
I've lived in three mainland regions where steel rail was used and it cost the taxpayer dearly: Colorado, California (Northern) and Seattle. Each operate public rail transit at huge subsidies. Further, the huge energy requirements to build then operate transit dwarfs the energy required for passenger vehicles in their entirety. In fact the most energy and environmentally friendly form of passenger transit are Vanpools. Trains operate full or empty at the same energy level because the rail transit car's mass is so large as compared to the passenger volume. This is going to be an economy burden to the County that will prove formidable.
on February 13,2013 | 04:03PM
niimi wrote:
The 1/2% GE Tax will have to be perpetual in order to full subsidize rail operation and maintenance. The O&M costs are huge going forward. I think the GE Tax increase needs to become permanent.
on February 13,2013 | 04:04PM
niimi wrote:
If I were Australian, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Mexico, I would create ads showing the big rail system and say, "Vacation in paradise? Not? Let us show you what a real tropical vacation should truly look like. Not masses of concrete columns, but views of the mountains and the beaches unencumbered."
on February 13,2013 | 04:08PM
CnDnM wrote:
Agreed, we should tear down all buildings made of concrete and revise the building codes for the construction of grass huts. We should probably, also shut down the power plants in order to cut down on light pollution.
on February 14,2013 | 03:41AM
niimi wrote:
Maybe we should make Hawaii like Middle Earth where only hobbits would be allowed to live here. Smaller people would only need smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles and we could then have 6 lanes going where there once was only 4 and the traffic lane capacity problem would be solved.
on February 13,2013 | 04:23PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
The majority of voters have repeatedly indicated they want the rail project. The anti-rail contingent have lost at every turn, including the last mayoral election. Rail opponents have determined that they know better than the voters, and they are going to continue the quixotic fight to impose their views on the majority and waste millions of tax dollars in the effort.
on February 13,2013 | 04:40PM
Macadamiamac wrote:
That 'a majority of voters have repeatedly indicated they wanted rail,' is patently FALSE. At no time have the voters been asked if they WANT rail. As I recall the initial question was "whether to have steel on steel." So please, STOP repeating this lie.
on February 14,2013 | 04:20AM
NITRO08 wrote:
Stop kidding your self the people already voted!
on February 14,2013 | 05:47AM
Anonymous wrote:
The figure you're citing is for vehicle reduction islandwide over a 24 hour period. Rail was never intended to take commercial vehicles, like construction trucks, garbage trucks, FedEx vehicles, pizza deliveries, etc. Rail will take passenger cars off the the most congested highway, H-1, during the most congested time, peak commuting periods.

If you look at the reduction in delay islandwide (the amount of time spent in your car) not number of vehicles islandwide, there's an 18% islandwide reduction in vehicle hours of delay. On H-1 during morning peak travel time, it's much greater depending on where you are in the corridor. Reduction in delay is well over 20% in many places.

on February 13,2013 | 05:04PM
Kuhlbreeze wrote:
I see the same 15 Haters have something to talk about again. I've missed them these past few weeks. Guess they're tired of chasing those damned kids off of their lawns!
on February 13,2013 | 05:47PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Just build it already.
on February 13,2013 | 07:06PM
shshimizu wrote:
Build it and people in West Oahu will utilize it. They continue to build in second city, rail is a lifestyle change that will come as traffic worsen. Presently it's bad and will only get worse without rail as an option. The bus system also needs to be improved so that it can compliment the rail system. In other words rail is not the end all answer, it's part of a complex solution. Lifestyle change is difficult at first, but it will come because there are no alternatives. Unlike most other states, we do not have land to build more highways. Stacking our freeway system will look worse than rail.
on February 13,2013 | 08:23PM
NITRO08 wrote:
All of you still fighting the rail the main point is the people have spoken the majority wants the rail so Ben and all of you people give it up the rail is going to happen!
on February 14,2013 | 05:29AM
Upperkula wrote:
Ben is a poor loser always was and always will be. Even when we use to fight chicken if his chicken loose he get so mad he like rematch, how can there be a rematch his chicken stay dead. Come on Benny give it up already.
on February 14,2013 | 07:03AM
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