Monday, October 25, 2010

Rail Has Pro-Energy, Pro-Environment Place in Hawaii

We don’t often “cross-post” to our Yes2Rail blog, but today we do because of the theme it shares with Hawaii Energy Options – GOO, or Getting Off Oil.

We’re somewhat surprised that a few high-profile environmentalists here are reluctant to come out strongly for Honolulu rail. They avoid full-out support by citing rail's alleged visual impact along its 20-mile route.

What I’d ask them given the opportunity is their reaction to the 25 or so high-rises planned in Honolulu’s Kakaako district, the last relatively low-rise urban space that a generation ago was dubbed Honolulu’s “Sleeping Giant” by a visiting delegation of architects (I wrote the story for the Honolulu Advertiser).

Kakaako is sleeping no more, and those new buildings will effectively wall off the ocean for a big chuck of the city’s mauka neighborhoods. But the 30-foot-high rail structure won’t be visible once you’re a block away, not only in Kakaako but along most of the route.

Without question, rail will reduce transportation energy requirements and air pollution, so we encourage your visits to Yes2Rail – today and every day.

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