January 16 2013

Honolulu Commuters Want Your Input: What are Your Rail Station Must-Haves?

Honolulu's Railway Begins to Take Shape near East Kapolei

Let’s begin with a bit of word association. When you hear “Honolulu,” you probably imagine palm trees gently swaying in the wind along sunny beaches abutting the clear, cool ocean. While Honolulu is renowned for its lovely beaches and, of course, the famed Mai Tai, it is also notorious for its traffic. Bleary-eyed commuters are often at a standstill at the H1/H2 merge at the pre-dawn hour of 5:30am. Elevated light rail is the only sensible solution to Honolulu’s congestion and commuters’ frustration, but a heated debate continues even as construction has begun on the railway terminus in East Kapolei.

Recent developments, including a $1.55 billion Federal Funding Agreement signed following the death of Hawaii’s beloved senator and rail advocate, Daniel K. Inouye, as well as a Federal Court decision, signal that construction will proceed, vociferous debate aside. As the line begins to take shape, piercing the skyline near rural East Kapolei, Oahu’s residents should hold HART and Mayor Kirk Caldwell accountable by participating in the yet to be scheduled station design workshops. HART and Mayor Caldwell promised:

Oahu residents and commuters, voice your concerns, share your ideas! How might your station reflect your community through its architectural design? Will you walk or bike in the rain to a station without a park-and-ride? Which stations should have dedicated retail or other commercial spaces?

Commuters from other cities, what station-design ideas should Oahu residents encourage HART to incorporate from your city? Where you live, how do planners engage the public?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Sunny Menozzi

Sunny Menozzi's military duties have taken her to diverse and exciting places, from Singapore to Arizona, South Korea to Afghanistan, and North Carolina to Hawaii. Sunny's travels inspired her interest in cities, especially how they function, the impact of the built environment on the residents, the methods planners employ to shape natural features, and the vibrancy that can be cultivated by good planning and design. She will begin her pursuit of a master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall of 2013. Sunny plans to focus on reuse and historic preservation, community-building, and economic and environmental sustainability. She hopes to contribute to projects that repurpose military bases. An avid runner, Sunny is interested in the design of recreational trails and policies that encourage the development of walkable communities. She holds a B.S. in International Relations and Russian from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 9:27 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Infrastructure, Landscape Architecture, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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2 Responses to “Honolulu Commuters Want Your Input: What are Your Rail Station Must-Haves?”

  1. Matthew Smith Says:

    America is way too behind in our development of public transportation. Though I wonder if that has more to do with American’s more individualist attitude.

  2. Sunny Menozzi Says:

    Perhaps. America’s love affair with the car is somewhat unique. Driving on the open road, whether on a Sunday afternoon or on a cross-country road trip, stirs a sense of freedom- it’s the prospect that you can pick up and go anywhere, anything seems possible. That said, light rail, subways, buses, and even trolleys can alleviate stress on arterial roadways, reduce pollution, and can lead to unexpected positive (and sometimes negative) interactions with our fellow urbanites.

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