Letters To The Editor
May 04, 2011 - MidWeek
I have been amazed how little attention has been given to the realities that come with rail that go beyond the fiscal, environmental and logistical issues. Don Chapman’s column “Bringing Train Culture To Honolulu” addresses interesting and important aspects of rail and is a refreshing departure from what discussions have been focused on.
Rail could be good, but daily commuters will need to adapt a new lifestyle. For rail to be worth its king’s ransom price tag, it has to be convenient and service a whole lot of commuters, while saving riders a bunch of time. Today we jump in our own personal car, drive to work and stop wherever we want on the way home. When rail arrives we still need to drive to the station, catch the train, and at our destination station we walk, pedal or ride to our job. And repeat it in reverse at day’s end.
I don’t know if the average person considers having to possibly get up earlier and get home later to use rail. Or how much money and real time will actually be saved. Are we gaining a whole lot considering the large cost and sacrifice in real estate and aesthetics? And will Honolulu wrestle with fighting a new image of graffiti-laced train stations occupied by homeless people and vandalized park-and-rides?
If the time comes that we are forced to employ Tokyo-style “pushers” to get everyone fitted into the trains, it would serve as validation that indeed rail was a good idea for the masses after all.
Tom Rude Sr.
A world away
On Page 10 of past week’s MidWeek, Bob Jones provided travel notes about off-the-beaten-path places in Vietnam. On page 12, Dan Boylan wrote about the many changes to Leeward Oahu. There’s a common thread here. Vietnam and the Leeward side are equally foreign to me.
I’m no fan of Michelle Malkin, but appreciate her column “Donald Trump: He’s No Tea Partier.” It astounds me that the “serious” media has been covering Trump and his “birther” allegations as if it were real news. Sorry, Trump is a joke of a candidate, and as Ms. Malkin writes, he’s ill-versed in liberty.
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