Honolulu rail forum draws opponents, supporters of planned commuter line
An overflow crowd of several hundred attended a forum at the state Capitol this morning in which Gov. Linda Lingle and the American Institute of Architects’ Hawaii chapter urged the city to consider alternatives to an elevated rail system.
Closed-circuit televisions were set up for those outside the meeting room.
In her presentation, Lingle said she had spoken to federal transit authorities last week and was told the city needs to change its financial plan for building rail.
The AIA recommended building half the 20-mile rail line at street-level to save money and preserve views.
Lingle wants the city to consider building portions of the rail at ground level, which she says would reduce construction costs.
The meeting was scheduled to last two hours but went on for three with an attendance the whole time.
City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell said after the meeting any review of the basic plan to build an elevated train could delay or kill the project.
The audience included supporters of the current plan, those who favor changing it to a street-level train and those who oppose any rail system.