Community Matters: Hawaii Rail #mypick

One of the cooler things about working with ThinkTech Hawaii is I get to be downtown all the time. I live on the west side so...so when Jay Fidell asked me to pick a show every week that, peaked my interest, this show discussing the Rail came to mind. 

A New HART for Hawaii Potential for Rail?

Ray Tsuchiyama wrote an article over at Civil Beat then came through ThinkTech to talk about how amazing it would be if the people behind the "planning" of things, would do it the "correct" way. By things I mean the OMG controversial RAIL. I've never understood why people are so hyped up...its only a train. There's a point where Jay seems to argue that the rail is an automatic failure because it wouldn't "get his daughter down from Sierra Drive to her violin lessons" and later they even shifted into talking about "holding guns" to the heads of land developers to force development. It's really good stuff! It's something everyone has an opinion on and it effects large amounts of local people including myself. That said, it left me wondering...

Have They Been To The West Side? Waipahu, Ewa Beach, Kapolei

I've been living on the West Side for more than a decade, things have changed tremendously. Ray seems to argue that development, jobs, and progress can only occur if they plan for it. That business leaders need to be involved in the planning. Frankly I agree, but this is Hawaii. Planning isn't our strong suite. Maybe some of the things Ray mentions like the Rail stops needing to stand apart from each other is already happening? I've seen the embossed public art on the risers at the soon to be Rail stops. Surely each stop logistically will have to be architecturally different and the cultural differences between communities would play a huge role in their designs.

Develop Incentives Build Stronger Economy

It seems a bit defeatist to think incentives are needed to prompt new development along the new Rail line. Perhaps being part of the re-design of what the future of Oahu is to look like is incentive enough. Combined with our states determination to be 100% renewable energy, maybe playing a part in what might be the blueprint of what the future of America will look like might look like a good idea. Maybe the money these companies stand to make for years to come may just be incentive enough. The rapid influx of people living on the west side has construction all over. Hotels in Kapolei? I've seen them being built. Oahu's soon to be newest Mall? Seems to be built right at the end of the line in Kapolei....Ewa? Maybe this argument is moot cause they are already providing incentives...more than likely some sort of tax break.

What's Not Being Talked About: Climate Change, Sea Level Rise

The future doesn't come cheap. Want progress? Want Change? Want Hawaii to be at the forefront for Technology & Sustainability? Then stop tripping about money and pay your just due for the survival of our state. I get it, I pay taxes too, but all of that will be for naught when the inevitable occurs. Climate change is real...Sea Level Rise is happening. When the water rises how will get around? Take a look at NOAA's water level rise maps and play a bit with the different water levels. Then try to find where the Rail is proposed. Do you live in any of the underwater areas? Where do you plan to live and how to do you plan to get there?