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Saturday, July 13, 2013
July 22 Deadline for Rail EIS Comments
By Honolulu Traffic @ 1:13 PM :: 4990 Views :: Rail

Reminder to file comments on the Draft Supplemental EIS:

From Honolulu Traffic

At the end of May, HART released the Draft Supplemental EIS with Appendices in response to Federal Judge Tashima's order to further develop HART's analysis of Mother Waldron Park and the Beretania Street Tunnel Alternative. His order regarding Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) is being covered in a separate document. See the links above to two very large files for detailed information.

HART also released at that time the following statement regarding the filing of comments:

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the U.S. Federal Transit Administration have prepared a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Section 4(f) Evaluation for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project as required by a U.S. District Court Judgment.

The document is limited to Section 4(f) evaluations of the Beretania Street Tunnel Alternative and Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park.

The document can be viewed at the following locations:

  • All Oahu public Libraries
  • The City Municipal Reference Library, 558 South King Street, City Hall Annex, Honolulu, HI 96813
  • Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, 1099 Alakea Street, Suite 1700, Honolulu, HI 96813

The public can also view the document online at the project website at www.HonoluluTransit.org. The report can also be requested in CD format by contacting the project hotline at (808) 566-2299.

Public Hearing A public hearing to provide the community and all interested persons an opportunity to present comments concerning this document will be held on July 9, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. The hearing will take place at the Blaisdell Center Hawaii Suites (777 Ward Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96813). Interested persons are invited to express their views orally or in writing.

Comments via U.S. Mail and Online Persons unable to attend the public hearing may submit written comments to Mr. Ted Matley, FTA Region IX, 201 Mission Street, Suite 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105, and Mr. Daniel A. Grabauskas, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, City and County of Honolulu, 1099 Alakea Street, Suite 1700 Honolulu, HI 96813 or online at www.HonoluluTransit.org. Written comments must be received by July 22, 2013 or postmarked by that date. You may also submit your comments online by following this link.

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii’s Federal judges assail current rail routing:

Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway writing, “On behalf of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii,” charged that HART, in its latest Supplemental EIS, “fails to give adequate consideration to the Beretania Street Tunnel Alternative.”

The Hawaii Federal Judges’ move, according to former Hawaii Federal Judge Walter Heen, a plaintiff in our lawsuit, was unprecedented not only in Hawaii but also, it appears, nationally. UH Professor Randall Roth agreed. State Senator Sam Slom characterized the Federal Court’s action as, “An elegantly written judicial smackdown for both HART and the City Council.’

The judges further criticized the plan because instead of its final destination being UH Manoa, its original intention, it stops at Ala Moana Center (They could have added, what has the Center to do with rush hour traffic congestion? It doesn’t open until 9:30 AM).

The Federal Court’s letter is worth reading in the original.

We had a press conference yesterday morning to discuss this matter and had the following coverage in the media

HawaiiNewsNow KITV KHON Star Advertiser Hawaii Reporter Civil Beat Hawaii Free Press

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Hawaii Federal District Court drops a bombshell on rail:

In a four-page letter sent this Monday to the Federal Transit Administration and HART CEO Grabauskas, Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway  wrote "on behalf of the court" that, "... the court urges you to recognize that the Beretania Street Tunnel Alternative, which is a more prudent and feasible route for the Project than the route presently proposed, has not been adequately considered in the [Draft Supplemental EIS]."

Chief Judge Mollway then details the reasons for the court's opinion. This letter has staggering implications for the rail Project, and when we have thoroughly thought this through we will.

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