New Mayor Could Derail Honolulu Transit Project

Despite a ceremonial groudbreaking last year, a $5.2-billion elevated rail project four decades in the making is facing an uncertain future as the centerpiece of a fierce campaign battle.

Already suffering from some of the worst congestion in the United States, a plan to build a 20-mile long elevated rail system from east Kapolei to central Honolulu that was supported by voters in recent elections will again be on the ballot next week. The plan is the centerpiece of a battle between former governor Ben Cayetano and former state House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell to become the next mayor of Honolulu, reports Kim Murphy. 

Cayetano, "entered the race with a robust lead in the polls, pledging to save the city from 'a wall of concrete snaking along its waterfront,'" says Murphy. Instead, he proposes, "a $1.5-billion plan calling for bigger buses, dedicated transit lanes, underpasses and a two-mile elevated freeway connecting to an existing flyover near the airport."

Caldwell, on the other hand, "said the city would be foolish to squander the years of political haggling and millions of dollars already devoted to a project that will take 40,000 cars a day off the streets on an island that has more than 733,000 vehicles. Rail, he says, will foster the kind of attractive, high-density development needed to avoid contaminating the emerald hills and valleys on the rest of the island with new suburbs and freeways."

 

Full Story: Honolulu rail project up in the air, again

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95