The horse solution
I’ve been wondering if the Republican health care approach includes the offer of $100,000 horse and dressage lessons to all those who suffer from multiple sclerosis. (I’m not sure if they can include the $77,000 tax deduction — that might be on a case-by-case basis.)
This therapy has been publicized as effective so much by candidate Mitt Romney that one would think it should be the centerpiece of his platform.
Dump rail plan
The supporters of a Honolulu rail system project expenditures of $5.5 billion to $6.6 billion in order to reduce traffic by as much as 2 percent. Having grown up in Los Angeles and seen how traffic congestion relief proposals go awry, let me suggest that expenditures will rise and traffic will ultimately get worse if we take this approach. Concentration of population along transportation corridors tends to increase, resulting in greater traffic congestion. Hawaii will be no different.
The question that Hawaii has been attempting to answer is, “How do we more efficiently move larger amounts of people through Honolulu?” Rail is a possible answer to that question. However, the question should be, “How do we more efficiently distribute the traffic on Oahu?”
We have not been forward thinking in our approach to this problem. We should be looking at the very way that we operate our lives, rather than being stuck on one element, like rail. I have a few questions and answers for you.
For instance, why do state, federal and private employees that spend their life in front of a computer have to commute daily to downtown Honolulu to sit in front of the computer? Jobs that are of that type should be set to operate from their homes. If monitoring employees is an issue, there are programs for that. This one step would reduce traffic by far more than 2 percent. The state should lead the way on this and immediately shift policy.
Next, why does everyone start and end their days, virtually, at the same time? Stagger workers’ hours. If a business operates 24 hours a day, shift starting times so that we don’t all move simultaneously. If it doesn’t operate 24 hours, simply change the hours of operation. We can live differently; we are capable of changing behavior.
Third, why do all of the buildings have to be concentrated in one area? Spread out and diversify your locations. Over time, this would have far greater impact than a rail system. We needn’t financially strap ourselves for decades to do something that, even by the proponents’ own admission, does little to alleviate the problem. As an outer islander, I am adamantly opposed to this rail proposal. It will handcuff the state for decades by saddling all of us with excruciating debt that will leave almost all other projects dead in the water. Any candidate that supports rail can count on fierce outer island opposition.