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Monday, April 22, 2013
Confident, Rail Opponents Seek Expedited Hearing on Appeal
By News Release @ 4:17 PM :: 1724 Views :: Rail

From HonoluluTraffic April 20, 2013

Our attorneys yesterday filed for an expedited hearing of our appeal:

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case of Honolulutraffic.com et al. vs. Federal Transit Administration et al., today filed a request for an expedited hearing of their appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The filing is attached here.

The request details that in the Final EIS of 2003, the City and FTA found that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was preferable to rail, and the public concurred. Yet two years later BRT was not considered even a reasonable alternative to be studied in the then proposed EIS despite the statutory requirement to “rigorously explore all reasonable alternatives.“

The District Court ruling that the City and FTA were not in error in this, and other matters, was clearly wrong and thus resulted in our current appeal. The request calls for hearing by August this year in time for a Ninth Circuit decision prior to any restart of rail construction.

---30---

Rail opponents Confident of Victory, seek expedited hearing in appeal

SA: In December, visiting federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima refused to halt construction on the $5.26 billion rail project. Tashima did require the city to further study rail’s impact on Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako; the feasibility of an alternative downtown route under Beretania Street and the impact to cultural sites along the 20-mile route.

Opponents filed an appeal in February to overturn Tashima’s ruling. With Friday’s filed request for an expedited hearing, they hope to get a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by the end of 2013 — and ideally before construction starts again in August or September.

“We think it would be an unnecessary waste of additional money to resume construction prior to the court’s decision,”  Roth said Friday. “Nobody can predict with certainty what the court’s going to do but we believe we’re going to win the appeal.”

read … Rail opponents seek expedited hearing in appeal of federal ruling

  *   *   *   *   *

Honolulu Traffic Where we stand today: The Hawai‘i Supreme Court found unanimously that the State should have made a full Archeological Inventory Survey of the entire route before rail construction began and they ordered work to cease.

In our federal case, Honolulutraffic.com et al. versus the City/FTA, Judge Tashima found the City/FTA in violation of the law in three counts.

While highly unlikely, it is possible that the City could restart in 6 to 9 months. By that time we should have a favorable ruling in our federal case at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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