My vision for Oahu in the next 50 years is a sustainable community of no more than one million people. An island that, if correctly
designed, will have enough water, enough transportation and enough energy to
support its people and its visitors.
Our island does not need landmarks like the Empire State Building, Sears Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge. Our island itself is an iconic
natural landmark. Our man-made infrastructure must live up to natural beauty
that is Oahu’s aina.
The next 10 years provide us with a golden opportunity to set the foundation for Oahu's next 50 to 100 years.
It is an opportunity to fix water, sewer and road infrastructure, one region at a time, one pass at a time, for good. It is an
opportunity to involve innovative contracting and financing so that the
projects are delivered on time and on budget. We can't afford business as
usual. New and rehabilitated sewers, sewage treatment, water mains and
roads alone come up to about 15 billion dollars.
If we do them the right way then we'll form a healthy foundation for vibrant civic life and a robust economy. If we do them the wrong
way, then the cost may double and sink Oahu in red ink, resulting in partly
finished projects and endless lane closures.
While the basic infrastructure is getting replaced or modernized we must begin to deploy traffic congestion, trash management, energy
solutions and hurricane resilience measures. Electric cars, High Occupancy Toll
(HOT) lanes, reuse of recyclables and trash exportation, and fossil-free energy
are in Oahu's future. No elevated trains should be allowed to permanently scar
Oahu, although the possibility of revitalizing the Oahu Rail Line for light
rail service from Waianae to the Airport should be explored.
Oahu also needs to develop sources for high density storable energy so that airplanes can have fuel to fly in visitors and ships can have
fuel to bring in supplies and take out the trash.
The core solution is biofuels and biomass. Rain water and sun produce a lot of
green waste, which is the necessary fuel. This is a natural benefit of being a
green island paradise. Sun and wind energy are natural sources for generating
distributed electric power that are particularly suitable for charging electric
cars while they are parked at home or work and for lessening the base load of
the main power plants.
Oahu needs to be well equipped and well prepared to withstand a hurricane. Regional
survival plans (e.g., resiliency plans for Kaneohe, Kaimuki and Kapolei),
second access to Waianae, "plugs" so that Navy submarines can provide
electric power to multiple areas of Oahu, and partial undergrounding of
utilities and tree growth management along critical arterial streets is needed,
along with routine channel and stream maintenance.
If your next Mayor does it right for the next 10 to 12 years, the chances for
sustainable prosperity are great. If not, then Oahu's best days have come and
gone. To me that's unacceptable. Oahu can be a thriving, sustainable community
with clean water, efficient transportation and abundant energy.
I am the only candidate with the skill set to make this happen.
Panos D. Prevedouros, PhD
September 14, 2010