Friday, January 22, 2021
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Outdoor Circle Comes Out Against Rail
By News Release @ 10:37 PM :: 8047 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

Transit Project Too Destructive-TOC Board Examines Options

Posted on, November 15, 2011

The Outdoor Circle’s mission since 1912 has been to keep Hawaii clean, green and beautiful. Our Islands are free of billboards and have a wonderful urban forest due in large measure to the dedication and hard work of our members who are deeply committed to protecting and enhancing one of the most beautiful places on earth.

In our 100 year history The Outdoor Circle (TOC) has seen no other venture that holds the potential to degrade the landscape of Oahu as the proposed Honolulu Rail Transit project. TOC has been involved in virtually every step of the project from the moment it was first brought to the public for discussion. For more than five years, at every opportunity, we have urged the City to explain how it will mitigate Transit’s horrific visual damage to this island as well as the degradation to neighborhoods and communities along the route of this six billion dollar project.

The Outdoor Circle favors and will support an alternatively sound transit proposal but only one that includes elements that will reduce traffic and protect Hawaii’s greatest asset, the unique and incomparable beauty of our islands. But with no satisfactory alternatives forthcoming The Outdoor Circle has concluded that it cannot and does not support the project as proposed and we now are exploring all available options to determine the most feasible and effective actions we might take to stop it.

Of great concern to TOC is the visual damage caused by Transit. The City acknowledges that the damage will occur but has determined that the blight the project creates is the price our residents and visitors must pay for “progress.” Imagine the cumulative visual impact of more than 20 miles of a massive elevated concrete guideway, supported by 720 large concrete columns with the inevitable graffiti and enormous transit stations. The project is destined to become an ugly scar across one of the most beautiful places on earth while there is little evidence that it will bring relief to Oahu’s unacceptable traffic situation.

We also are distressed that the proposed project requires the removal of nearly 900 trees. TOC is consulting with the City’s Transit team to make certain that relocated trees are properly handled and that contractors pay for those that are not. Hundreds of trees already have been or will soon be removed and destroyed. But given that the Federal government has not yet guaranteed that it will fund the project we strongly question whether the tree removals and other preparatory work should continue.

A group of individuals and Hawaii grassroots organizations has filed a lawsuit to stop this project. TOC supports the lawsuit and believes it is necessary because the City’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) failed to conform to the National Environmental Policy Act and did not adequately evaluate less intrusive “alternatives.” Examples of alternatives include an expanded flexible bus system, staggered work hours, creative transportation options for thousands of students, private jitney services or possibly an at grade rail system.

In addition, the FEIS fails to adequately explain how the City will mitigate the damage the project will inflict on O‘ahu view planes. Instead the city explains in the FEIS that the visual intrusiveness will be mitigated by community sensitive architectural designs and then softened by a variety of landscaping schemes, tree plantings, etc. The City has offered no details about these efforts, instead stating that the details of this work will be developed in concert with the communities as the project moves forward. But TOC’s position is that these details should have been proposed and vetted before the completion of the FEIS. And why didn’t that happen? The Outdoor Circle believes the answer is that no level of design or landscape can erase the physical, visual barricade being created to mauka-makai views for the entire length of the project. In this regard the FEIS fails to offer relief of any kind.

The Outdoor Circle now is considering how we might best support the broad based coalition of organizations and individuals which is challenging this project in court. We also encourage others to support the lawsuit. We are hopeful that through our combined efforts we can convince the courts to put the brakes on the current Transit project and force the City to offer real alternatives and real mitigation that will bring true relief to Honolulu’s traffic madness without pillaging the beauty of the place we call home.

Read more about TOC’s history on transit by clicking here.


SA: Outdoor Circle opposes city's rail plan


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii


Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii