Our appeal filed with the Ninth Circuit
From HonoluluTraffic.com May 16, 2013
An appeal in the case of Honolulutraffic et al. vs. Federal Transit Administration et al. was filed last night with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
At its core, the appeal focuses on the improper alternatives analysis undertaken by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the Final EIS in violation of Section 4(f), which Congress wrote to protect historic properties and resources.
The FTA was required to, “rigorously explore all reasonable alternatives,” but ignored the Managed Lanes Alternative, street level Light Rail, and Bus/Rapid Transit (BRT). The EIS only explored three minor variants of the elevated heavy rail alternative.
In 2003, the FTA and the City had found that BRT was preferable to elevated rail. It wrote that from,
“Public input received in hundreds of Vision Team and Oahu Trans 2K meetings and workshops … the predominant sentiment among thousands of participants was that a grade-separated transit system would be unacceptably: (1) intrusive on the visual environment; (2) divisive of communities; and (3) too expensive.”
What we are asking the court: “Appellants seek relief requiring that the FTA’s approval of the Project be vacated and set aside, that the City and FTA be ordered to comply with NEPA and Section 4(f), and that all further work on the Project be enjoined pending that compliance.”
We firmly believe that a new and honestly conducted alternatives analysis would never result in the selection of elevated heavy rail as the preferable alternative.
Full Text: Appeal