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Honolulu is No. 1 Among Nation’s Top Ten Worse Traffic Congested Cities: But All Other Nine Cities Have Rail Systems.

Trains are certainly no guarantee of traffic relief, as evidenced by the latest Inrix National Traffic Scorecard.

Nine of the ten most traffic-congested cities in America have rail systems. And a train also wouldn’t help Oahu, since federal and county transit officials agree traffic would be worse in the future with rail than it is today without rail.

According to the Inrix study, Honolulu is the nation’s most-congested city, with drivers wasting an average of 58 hours per year sitting in traffic. That compares to 56 wasted hours in Los Angeles, the second-worst city.

What’s the answer for Honolulu?

Rather than squander at least $5.3 billion on an obsolete and ineffective rail system, Governor Cayetano proposes a series of sensible traffic fixes at a fraction of the cost. This includes improving the nation’s best bus system by quickly adding point-to-point express buses for commuters and students.

Other short-term solutions include: widening existing roads, implementing flexible workweeks and telecommuting for county employees, and synchronizing Honolulu’s outdated traffic signal system so drivers hit fewer red lights.

Governor Ben also favors the long-term solution of creating a modern Bus Rapid Transit system – similar to successful ones in Seoul and other cities – that speeds commuters to and from downtown twice as fast as rail.

The train, by the way, would average a pokey 27 miles per hour because it has to pick up
passengers at 21 stations along the 20-mile route. That’s what you call stop-and-go conditions!

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5 Comments to Honolulu is No. 1 Among Nation’s Top Ten Worse Traffic Congested Cities: But All Other Nine Cities Have Rail Systems.

  1. Syd Pryne

    Love you Ben. Keep it up. I’m sending you some money. Thanks Ben.

  2. Nicole J.

    I am a concerned citizen that was born and raised here on O`ahu in the Kaimuki area. From childhood seeing all changes both small and large that I agree and disagree of. The following are a few concerns that I strongly feel need serious and immediate attention.

    One of which is the rail system. I don’t understand why the Mayor among others are trying so hard to build this rail system. Just the price itself should be reason enough to STOP the whole idea. I doubt that there will be enough persons that will ride the rail to pay off the bill of the rail. No one even knows for sure it will work. If and/or when the rail fails, it will cost even more to tear the rail down. Which will for sure put O`ahu in debt. That is if building the rail itself won’t put O`ahu in debt alone. Hasn’t anyone learned from California’s mistake?! Do we have to go through it ourselves and learn the hard way.

    1/5 of the cost of the rail could be used to widen highways for better traffic flow. Maybe, 2/5. Either way it will still be less! Drivers westbound, have 5 lanes merging into 3 lanes, eastbound. How can no one see that, that alone is a problem and reason for traffic congestion.

    Why doesn’t the Mayor/City leaders come up with inexpensive solutions first instead of jumping to an expensive idea that they don’t even know for sure will be successful. The Mayor/City leaders could improve “The Bus” system. Expand all routes in all areas. Have buses that run just in the neighborhood (shorter routes, i.e. Maunalani) for those needing to get to the main roads/streets. Have “Express” buses that only run on those main roads/streets which run from one part of island to opposite part of the island (longer routes).

    O`ahu is just a small island and over populated. O`ahu is turning into a “concrete jungle” accomodating for the over population and tourists. Even more of a “concrete jungle” with the building of the rail system. Soon, Hawai`i, O`ahu especially, won’t be known as Paradise.

    Why not expand and develop on other islands? Big Island and Kaua`i have a lot of potential of development? Why not spread the development among several islands instead of on only one island and reduce over population? In developing on other islands it will open up many opportunities. One of which is, more jobs. More jobs will provide more income for each island. As well as, ease the overpopulation.

    These are a few concerns of mine. I really do hope you will take them to mind. As well as put it into action. I believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard at whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.

    Thank You for listening and I look forwad to you addressing these concerns in your future debates and on the campaign trail. Good luck in your race to the mayoral seat!

  3. Paul

    Auwe !

    Kirk Caldwell wants to run the Rail into beautiful Manoa Valley ? INSANE !

    Malama O Manoa will be at Defcon 4 tonight :O

  4. Rio Ke'alii Martell

    I am totally convinced that building the rail system would impact all of us in a negative way. Not only will our environment suffer, there is no mention of the obvious ‘ noise pollution ‘, but I can see that the planners have NOT done a thorough job of really working out the true tax dollars it’s going to take to build this poorly planned project. We the poor taxpayers….already pay enough taxes to just live here (in Paradise) but the greedy plot of certain ” pocket-liners ” are not concerned with what other options could be more effective, economical and readily available. We live in a unique, fragile island environment . Mainland traffic solution such as building a rail system is not for us. We the people can not be complacent, let us get out and vote for Ben Cayetano, it’s obvious that he’s got our best interests at heart!!

  5. Gerald de Heer

    Agreed, traffic congestion on Oahu is a serious problem. For the time being let’s grant the release of this information ‘coincidental’. Given the above, Rail will only guarantee that Honolulu remains # 1 in Traffic Congestion (at least we are #1 in something) in the country. Consructing the multi-billion dollar Rail will automatically generate worse traffic for years. And, when finished, how much will traffic improve? By then, the impact will be negligible, particularly when considering traffic flow Island wide.

    Gov Cayetano’s solution is the one that makes immediate sense and can be quickly implemented. It is flexible and, compared to real, inexpensive. Busses work.

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