seeking cost-effective ways to reduce traffic congestion in Honolulu


June 29, 2007.

Advertiser: State highways a bad deal: 

Today's Advertiser reports on its front page about a Reason Foundation financed study by the University of North Carolina on the conditions of state highways. Hawaii ranks 46th among the states on the condition of its roads and highways. Read more:  ADVERTISER     REASON STUDY


June 25, 2007.

There are now 60 online videos about our activities: 

       Two sites, Brightcove.com and YouTube.com are showing short video clips of our activities. Now you can see our members testifying at City Council, watch Councilmember Okino "misspeak" about FTA providing oversight on the planning, and see footage of our protests against the rigged study of the HOT lane (managed lanes) alternative. All in all, these video clips are worth sampling:

     BRIGHTCOVE.COM                  YOUTUBE.COM


June 21, 2007.

"Dump the pump" program is counter productive:  

       Every year the Department of Energy measures the average energy use per passenger mile for automobiles, light trucks (including SUVs), buses and rail transit. They publish these data in the Energy Transportation Data Book, the latest edition of which was published recently as Edition 26, 2007.

      The results are quite clear: Per passenger mile, regular cars are more energy efficient than buses and the gap is widening. How can that be? While autos typically carry about 1.15 people, buses also carry few passengers for much of the day. It is only when they run full in both directions that they are far superior to cars. Even during the rush hour buses may run full into town in the morning but then turn around and run virtually empty on the return trip.

        While the case may be made for moving people out of light truck and SUVs into buses, moving people out of regular automobiles is counter productive since they are more efficient than buses. See  TABLE  and/or   FULL REPORT


June 14, 2007.

Advertiser: Our bus commuters decline again:

       Every single decade since 1960, when the Census Bureau began measuring the percentage of commuters using public transportation, the percentage has declined both nationally and locally.

       The Bureau’s latest mid-decade survey showed thatOahu’s commuters using TheBus declined again from 8.3 percent in 2000 to 7.9 percent in 2005.

       Even more recent statistics through March this year, showed that few drivers are cutting back their use of their cars despite a 50 percent increase in gasoline prices since 2000.

       As AAA is quoted in the Advertiser, “many people equate carpooling and mass transit with a decline in their personal standard of living.” Of course. Only our City officials consider having a train will boost our citizens’ "Quality of Life” as the Mayor keeps saying.



Brizdle tackles Mayor on rail: Need? Afford? Maintain?

       Throughout his 2004 mayoral campaign, Mayor Hannemann’s manta promised a very fiscally sensible approach to governance. For all new projects he said he would ask, “Do we need it? Can we afford it? Can we maintain it?

       Almost the first thing out of his mouth after being elected was to call for a one percent GE tax increase for a $2.6 billion rail line. As of now the Council’s ‘locally preferred alternative’ is a $4.6 billion line but only a ½ percent tax increase. John Brizdle takes him up on that in an Advertiser letter to the editor printed last Wednesday.   READ MORE


The 2007 Preserving the American Dream Conference:

        The next one will be in San Jose, California, November 10-12, 2007. We highly recommend the annual American Dream Conferences. These conferences have highly qualified speakers addressing the current activities of urban planners who are essentially mandating that people live how planners believe they should live rather than how they want to live. In the process, planners are driving urban housing prices through the roof.

       With its urban-growth boundary, light-rail system, and transit-oriented developments, San Jose has practiced smart growth or similar forms of growth-management planning since 1974. The results have been disastrous: sky-high housing costs, growing congestion, and a spectacular decline in transit ridership since 2001.

        The 2007 Preserving the American Dream conference, titled "Recovering from Smart Growth" will visit San Jose in November to explore the region and assess whether there is any hope for cities that have adopted such misguided policies. Mark this weekend on your calendar so that you can hear dozens of experts report on the latest research and present tools you can use to protect freedom, mobility, and affordable home ownership in your community.

        Click here for more information about the San Jose conference agenda, costs, hotel accommodations, and registration.

        You should also look into the 2008 Preserving the American Dream Conference, Houston, Texas, May 16-18, 2008. This 'Land Use Without Zoning' conference will take place in Houston, where we will explore a city that has not seen the heavy hand of land-use planning or misguided transportation planning. Houston famously has no zoning. Houston has also built many new freeways and tollways to accommodate growing mobility. Are the results as bad as planners claim?

         As back-to-back conference sites, San Jose and Houston present ideal case studies. Plan to attend both conferences to compare America's least regulated urban area with one of its most regulated ones. Click here for more information about the Houston conference agenda, costs, hotel accommodations, and registration.


May 11, 2007.

Dave Rolf writes on HOT lanes for the Advertiser:

      Dave wrote a recent Commentary for the Advertiser, "HOT lanes can't be ignored in transit plan," making the point, once again, that HOT lanes will relieve traffic congestion.  READ MORE

      Today he emails us that, "I’m inDallas for son Joshua’s graduation from seminary.  The tollroads are superb.  I spoke with the exec director of the toll authority who said they have recently published a study which said the toll roads played a key part in attracting $80 billion for the Dallas economy.  That’s $80 BILLION.  That’s not small change.    
      The newspapers here today are talking about letting the people VOTE on the issue of funding a train.  Interestingly, the elected officials here FAVOR the vote.  But our officials in Hawaii oppose such.  The newspapers here have run three stories on transit.  That’s 3 stories.  They are even talking about the gov calling a special session because the legislature has dropped the ball….sounds like our Senate.  They didn’t hear ANY of the major bills on transportation. 
      I’d bet on the people making the right choice.  I wishHawaii had a vote on transit / tolls / or whatever solution is brought forward.
      Whatever that choice…toll roads need to be part of the solution, or I’m certain that more gridlock is in our future.  Dallas has pretty much licked the problem with toll roads.  Very impressive.  They are architectural masterpieces."

       Thanks, Dave, for the news from Dallas.


May 9, 2007.

View the Scoping Protest Rally and other videos:

      Over the past few months we have assembled videos about our activities.

      First, is a 13-minute one of the Scoping Rally, featuring UH Traffic Engineering Professor Panos Prevedouros, well-known artist Pegge Hopper, and many others giving you their take on the rigging of the City's Alternatives Analysis. See Rally Video

      Second, we have testimony by various of our members at City Council and Committee hearings. One group is on the Brightcove website. The other group is on the YouTube website. Enjoy!


May 4, 2007.

Dr. Prevedouros' letter in the May issue of Honolulu Magazine:

“Most cities including those of modest size once had rapid transit, but people abandoned it for their own set of wheels. The automobile gave people the freedom to choose their own timetable and route of travel on a portal-to-portal basis. They do not intend to give up that freedom and government has no right to take it from them by a program of deliberately planned congestion. “Is Rapid Transit an answer to pollution and congestion or are we being sold a herd of very expensive white elephants?“ (President Reagan, 1976.)

Fast forward to December 2006 when the Arizona Department of Transportation (www.azdot.gov/TPD/ATRC/publications/project_reports/pdf/az582.pdf) did specific analysis in Phoenix and provided costs in cents per person-mile as follows:

Travel mode

¢ per mile

High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane:

1.2 to 2.7

General purpose lane:

1.9 to 4.2

HOV and bus lane:

2.6 to 5.7

Exclusive bus lane:

6.6 to 14.7

Light rail line:

16.1 to 35.8








Local reality check: The Hannemann administration is planning a heavy rail system at a cost of 720 to 920 cents per person-mile to serve 3.2% of trips on Oahu. Indeed then we are being sold a while elephant. By City estimates, in 2030 with rail built, not only will congestion be much worse than now, but also all trips between Aiea and UH will be made faster by car than by rail. Contrast that to properly designed HOT lanes on which express buses, vans and carpools will make Kapolei to Iwilei in about 15 minutes during the rush hour.


April 23, 2007.

Senator Inouye and HONOLULUTRAFFIC.COM have the same concerns:

Today's news is that our senior Senator, Daniel K. Inouye, has essentially joined our battle against the extravagances of the proposed new rail transit line. In today's Advertiser, he said that spending $1 billion to upgrade the city's sewage treatment plant "would bankrupt the city." Since the full rail transit proposal will likely run well over $6 billion we must assume that he also finds that rail would bankrupt the city — six times over. Welcome aboard, Senator, it's good to have you.  READ MORE


April 13, 2007.

Welcome our new members:

Welcome to the latest additions to our roster of those willing to stand up and be counted. See our other members in the "Who we are" tab, to the left:

Joe Mastrantonio

Leslie Mattice

Marilyn Hain

Scott Harrison

C. J. Lileikis

Anthony Clapes

Gerry Ching

Rolf Nordahl

Scott Harrison

Alison Okumura

Michael Lilly



Our comments on the Scoping are now available:

Our comments have focused on a) requesting a resolution of the reasons for the double Scoping and the reasons for it, b) protesting the absurd 'purpose and need' statement and demanding that the City say that a 'need' is to reduce traffic congestion below current levels, and c) protesting the exclusion of the Managed Lanes Alternative from the Scoping, and demanding fair and equitable treatment for Managed Lanes in the process  READ MORE


GE tax increase hits cancer patients

GE tax increase has unforeseen problems. Lower-income cancer patients coming to Honolulu for treatment are paying the higher tax, for one. An interesting ramification of the tax increase for health providers and patients. READ MORE


Two great quotes:

"Given what we know about congestion and mobility, transportation funding should be used where it reduces delay hours least expensively. That criteria, important in our Governor's Business Council report in Texas has now been partially adopted in Georgia and represents, I believe, the best way forward. If we could trust the public processes (which of course we cannot), it could be applied without regard to mode. This would, however, raise the inconvenient truth that, rarely, if ever, would a dollar be spent on transit. While quite a rational approach, its doctrinal content falls well below what is required by our urban religion." Wendell Cox, whose main website is www.publicpurpose.com.

"Freeways are our safest roads. Freeways are our fastest roads. As traffic is redirected from freeways to arterials, trip times increase and accidents increase." Mel Zucker, Oregon Transportation Institute at http://www.hevanet.com/oti/

Nation's top highway official opens new Denver HOT lanes:

Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka and Colorado Governor Bill Owens today marked the opening of new high-occupancy toll and express lanes on a seven-mile stretch of I-25 that will give more drivers a choice for congestion free travel between downtown Denver and U.S. 36.  READ MORE


View a nine-minute video on how HOT lanes really operate

A 9-minute video about the Minneapolis, Minnesota, I-394 MnPASS HOT lane project can now be viewed  HERE  


Video of our protest rally up on Olelo:

The video of our anti-rail rally at City Hall last week, which is already on the web site, will be shown on Olelo on the following times: Anti-Rail Rally 4/13/07 Fri 8:30 am Channel 54, 4/15/07 Sun 8:00 pm Channel 49; 4/16/07 Mon 8:00 am Channel 49; 4/21/07 Sat 5:30 pm Channel 54.


Dr. Prevedouros' paper on HOT lane traffic distribution in town:

Dr. Prevedouros' paper on how traffic coming into town on HOT lanes could be distributed evenly in town so that the large number of vehicles would not cause greater traffic congestion. The title of his paper is "Effective Traffic Relief for Oahu: HOT Expressway and Underpasses" and is available  HERE  and is also available on the "Dr. Prevedouros page" tab to the left.


April 8, 2007.

That fine Honolulu Magazine article now online:

       Included in the article is this City rendering of the Aloha Tower rail station. It has a great deal of charm and provides a

unique Hawaiian sense of place. It will be admired by all those who believe in sustainability — of taxes.  READ MORE

April 5, 2007.

Congratulations all on a great protest rally yesterday:

       Late yesterday afternoon over 30 of our troops turned to protest against the OMPO planning process. We wanted to let the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highways Administration officials, who were present, know that we thought the planning process was highly flawed. See  OUR HANDOUT      CHANNEL 2 COVERAGE


Reminder: Randal O'Toole's Anti-planner is an excellent site:

Check in today to for his story on the Kansas City light rail and the shenanigans going on there.  READ MORE


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