Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for High-Capacity Transit Improvements in the Southern Corridor of Honolulu, HI, 72871-72873 [05-23678]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 234 / Wednesday, December 7, 2005 / Notices throughout the development of the EIS. In addition, a public hearing will be held. Public notice will be given of the time and place of the meetings and hearing. The draft EIS will be available for public and agency review and comment prior to the public hearing. To ensure that the full range of issues related to this proposed action are addressed and all significant issues identified, comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties. Comments or questions concerning this proposed action and the EIS should be directed to the FHWA at the address provided above. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Issued on: December 1, 2005. Walter Boyd, Field Operations Team Leader, Nashville, Tennessee. FR Doc. 05–23703 Filed 12–6–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–M DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for High-Capacity Transit Improvements in the Southern Corridor of Honolulu, HI AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). ACTION: SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services (DTS) intend to prepare an EIS (and Alternative Analysis (AA)) on a proposal by the City and County of Honolulu to implement transit improvements that potentially include high-capacity transit service in a 25-mile travel corridor between Kapolei and the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Waikiki. Alternatives proposed to be considered in the AA and draft EIS include No Build, Transportation System Management, Managed Lanes, and Fixed Guideway Transit. Other transit alternatives may be identified during the scoping process. The EIS will be prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing regulations. The FTA and DTS request public and VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:01 Dec 06, 2005 Jkt 208001 interagency input on the purpose and needs to be addressed by the project, the alternatives to be considered, and the scope of the EIS for the corridor, including the alternatives and the environmental and community impacts to be evaluated. Scoping Comments Due Date: Written comments on the scope of the NEPA review, including the alternatives to be considered and the related impacts to be assessed, should be sent to DTS by January 9, 2006. See ADDRESSES below. Scoping Meetings: Meetings to accept comments on the proposed alternatives, scope of the EIS, and purpose of and needs to be addressed by the alternatives will be held on December 13 and 14, 2005 at the locations given in ADDRESSES below. On December 13, 2005, the public scoping meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 8 p.m. or until all who wish to provide oral comments have been given the opportunity. The meeting on December 14, 2005 will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. or until all who wish to provide oral comments have been given the opportunity. The locations are accessible to people with disabilities. A court reporter will record oral comments. Forms will be provided on which to provide written comments. Project staff will be available at the meeting to informally discuss the EIS scope and the proposed project. Governmental agencies are also invited to a separate scoping meeting to be held on December 13 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Further information will be available at the scoping meeting and may also be obtained by calling (808) 566–2299, by downloading from http:// www.honolulutransit.org, or by emailing info@honolulutransit.org. DATES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the alternatives to be considered and the related impacts to be assessed, should be sent to both the Department of Transportation Services, City and County of Honolulu, 650 South King Street, 3rd Floor, Honolulu, HI, 96813, Attention: Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, or by the Internet at http:// www.honolulutransit.org and Ms. Donna Turchie, Federal Transit Administration, Region IX, 201 Mission Street, Suite 2210, San Francisco, CA 94105 or by e-mail: Donna.Turchie@fta.dot.gov. The scoping meetings will be held at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Pikake Room, at 77 Ward Avenue on December 13, 2005 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at Kapolei Middle School Cafeteria, at 91– ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72871 5335 Kapolei Parkway on December 14, 2005 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The FTA contact is Ms. Donna Turchie, Federal Transit Administration, Region IX, 201 Mission Street, Room 2210, San Francisco, CA 94105. Phone: (415) 744– 2737. Fax: (415) 744–2726. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Scoping The FTA and DTS invite all interested individuals and organizations, and Federal, State, and local agencies, to comment on the purpose and need, project alternatives, and scope of the EIS. During the scoping process, comments should focus on the purpose and need for a project, identifying specific transportation problems to be evaluated, or on proposing transportation alternatives that may be less costly, more effective, or have fewer environmental impacts while improving mobility in the corridor. At this time, comments should not focus on a preference for a particular alternative. The opportunity for that type of input will be after the release of the AA final report, which will compare various alternatives. Following the public scoping process, public outreach activities with interested parties or groups throughout the duration of work on the EIS will occur. The project Web site, http:// www.honolulutransit.org, will be updated periodically to reflect the status of the project. Additional opportunities for public participation will be announced through mailings, notices, advertisements, and press releases. Those wishing to be placed on the project mailing list may do so by registering on the Web site at http:// www.honolulutransit.org, or by calling (808) 566–2299. II. Description of Study Area The proposed project study area is the travel corridor between Kapolei and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) and Waikiki. This narrow, linear corridor is confined by the Waianae and Koolau mountain ranges to the north (mauka direction) and the ocean to the south (makai direction). The corridor includes the majority of housing and employment on Oahu. The 2000 census indicates that 876,200 people live on Oahu. Of this number, over 552,000 people, or 63 percent, live within the corridor between Kapolei and Manoa/Waikiki. This area is projected to absorb 69 percent of the population growth projected to occur on Oahu between 2000 and 2030, resulting in an expected corridor population of E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 72872 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 234 / Wednesday, December 7, 2005 / Notices 776,000 by 2030.Over the next twentyfive years, the Ewa/Kapolei area is projected to have the highest rate of housing and employment growth on Oahu. The Ewa/Kapolei area is developing as a ‘‘second city’’ to complement downtown Honolulu. The housing and employment growth in Ewa is identified in the General Plan for the City and County of Honolulu. III. Purpose and Need Existing transportation infrastructure in this corridor is overburdened handling current levels of travel demand. Travelers experience substantial traffic congestion and delay at most times of the day, both on weekdays and on weekends. Automobile and transit users on Oahu currently experience 42,000 daily vehicle-hours of delay. By 2030, this is projected to increase nearly seven-fold to 326,000 daily vehicle-hours of delay. Because the bus system primarily operates in mixed traffic, transit users experience the same level of delay as automobile drivers. Current morning peak-period travel times for motorists from Kapolei to downtown average between 40 and 60 minutes. By 2030 the travel times are projected to more than double. Within the urban core most major arterial streets will experience increasing peak congestion, including Ala Moana Boulevard, Dillingham Boulevard, Kalakaua Avenue, Kapiolani Boulevard, King Street and Nimitz Highway. Expansion of the roadway system between Kapolei and UH Manoa study corridor is constrained by physical barriers and by dense urban neighborhoods that abut many existing roadways. Numerous lower-income and minority workers live in the corridor outside of the urban core and commute to work in the primary urban center. Many of these workers rely on public transit because they are not able to afford the cost of vehicle ownership, operation, and parking. The intent of the proposed alternatives is to provide improved person-mobility in this highly congested east-west corridor. A high-capacity improvement project would support the goals of the regional transportation plan by serving areas designated for urban growth, provide an alternative to private automobile travel and improve linkages between Kapolei, Honolulu’s Urban Center, UH Manoa, Waikiki, and urban areas between these points. IV. Alternatives The alternatives proposed for evaluation in the AA and draft EIS were developed through a screening process VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:01 Dec 06, 2005 Jkt 208001 that identified the best reasonable alternatives from the range of possible alternatives. At a minimum, FTA and DTS propose to consider the following alternatives: 1. No Build Alternative, which would include existing transit and highway facilities and planned transportation projects to the year 2030. 2. Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative, which would provide an enhanced bus system based on a hub-and-spoke route network, community bus circulators, conversion of the present morning peak hour only zipper lane to both a morning and afternoon peak hour zipper lane configuration, and relatively low-cost capital improvements on selected roadway facilities to give priority to buses. These capital improvements may include: Transportation system upgrades such as intersection improvements, minor road widening, traffic engineering actions, bus route restructuring, shortened bus headways, expanded use of articulated buses, express and limited-stop service, signalization improvements, and timedtransfer operations. 3. Managed Lanes Alternatives, which would include construction of a twolane grade-separated guideway between Waipahu and Downtown Honolulu for use by buses high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs), and toll-paying single-occupant vehicles. The lanes would be managed by setting the minimum occupancy for HOVs and the tolls for single-occupant vehicles at levels that would preserve free-flow speeds on the facility. 4. Fixed-Guideway Alternatives, which would include the construction and operation of a fixed transit guideway between Kapolei and UH Manoa and Waikiki on one of several possible alignments. Alignment alternatives to be considered include, but are not limited to: • Kamokila Boulevard/Salt Lake Boulevard/King Street/Hotel Street/ Alakea Street/Kapiolani Boulevard Alignment, which would serve various communities and activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, including UH West Oahu, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Salt Lake, Kalihi, Downtown Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala Moana Center, and Moiliili. • North-South Road/Camp Catlin Road/King Street/Queen Street/ Kapiolani Boulevard Alignment, which would serve various communities and activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, including UH West Oahu, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu International Airport, Salt Lake, Kalihi, Downtown PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala Moana Center, and Moiliili. • Ft. Weaver Road/Farrington Highway/Kamehameha Highway/ Dillingham Boulevard/Kaaahi Street/ Beretania Street/King Street/Kaialiu Street Alignment, which would serve various communities and activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, including Kalaeloa, Ewa Villages, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu International Airport, Kalihi Kai, Downtown Honolulu, Thomas Square, and Moiliili. • North-South Road/Farrington Highway/Kamehameha Highway/ Airport/Dillingham Boulevard/Hotel Street/Kapiolani Boulevard with a Waikiki Spur Alignment, which would serve various communities and activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, including Kalaeloa, UH West Oahu, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu International Airport, Kalihi Kai, Downtown Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala Moana Center, Moiliili, and Waikiki. After appropriate public involvement and interagency coordination, other alternatives suggested during scoping may be added if they are found to be environmentally acceptable, financially feasible, and consistent with the purpose of and need for major transportation improvements in the corridor. V. Probable Effects The EIS will evaluate and fully disclose the environmental consequences of the construction and operation of an expanded transit system on Oahu. The EIS will evaluate the impacts of all reasonable alternatives on land use, zoning, displacements, parklands, economic development, community disruptions, environmental justice, aesthetics, air quality, noise and vibration, wildlife, vegetation, threatened and endangered species, farmland, water quality, wetlands, waterways, floodplains, enemy, hazardous materials, and cultural, historic, and archaeological resources. Impacts to parklands and historic resources covered by Section 4(f) of the 1966 U.S. Department of Transportation Act also will be addressed. To ensure that all significant issues related to this proposed action are identified and addressed, scoping comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties. Comments and questions should be directed to the DTS as noted in the ADDRESSES section above. E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 234 / Wednesday, December 7, 2005 / Notices VI. FTA Procedures The EIS is being prepared in accordance with: the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and its implementing regulations by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 CFR parts 1500– 1508); the FTA/Federal Highway Administration’s ‘‘Environmental Impact and Related Procedures’’ regulations (23 CFR part 771); and Federal transit law (49 U.S.C. 5300) and its implementing regulations for major capital improvements (49 CFR 611). In accordance with FTA policy, the NEPA process will also address the requirements of other applicable environmental laws, regulations, and executive orders, such as the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, Section 4(f) of the 1966 U.S. Department of Transportation Act, the Executive Orders on Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, Environmental Justice, Floodplain Management, and Protection of Wetlands. The first step in preparation of the EIS will be an AA that will be consistent with both the requirements of NEPA for evaluation of a range of reasonable alternatives and the requirements of Federal transit law for consideration of alternatives during the development of major capital investment projects proposed for Federal funding. Upon completion, the AA final report will be available to the public and agencies for review and comment, and public hearings on the AA will be held at advertised locations within the study area. Based on the AA and public and agency comments received, the City and County of Honolulu will identify, a locally preferred alternative (LPA). The second step in preparation of the EIS will be the development of a Draft EIS to add further detail about the LPA and its impacts. Based on the findings in the Draft EIS and comments from the public and agencies, the City and County of Honolulu may decide to request that the LPA enter preliminary engineering (PE) of the LPA. FTA requires that the LPA be adopted and/or confirmed in the conforming Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for Oahu as a condition for initiation of PE. With adoption into the RTP, and if the LPA meets the evaluation criteria identified in Federal law, FTA will approved the project into PE, which will include the simultaneous preparation of the Final EIS. VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:01 Dec 06, 2005 Jkt 208001 Issued on: November 29, 2005. Leslie T. Rogers, Regional Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–23678 Filed 12–6–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–M DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements; Agency Information Collection Activity under OMB Review Maritime Administration, DOT. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The nature of the information collection is described as well as its expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on September 9, 2005, and comments were due by November 8, 2005. No comments were received. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 6, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Olsen, Maritime Administration, 400 Seventh Street, Southwest, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202–366–2313; FAX: 202– 366–9580; or E-mail: Thomas.olsen@dot.gov. Copies of this collection also can be obtained from that office. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Maritime Administration (MARAD). Title: Determination of Fair and Reasonable Rates for Carriage of Agriculture Cargoes on U.S.-flag Commercial Vessels. Omb Control Number: 2133–0514. Type Of Request: Extension of currently approved collection. Affected Public: U.S. citizens who own and operate U.S.-flag vessels. Forms: MA–1025, MA–1026 and MA– 172. Abstract: This collection of information requires U.S.-flag operators to submit annual vessel operating costs and capital costs data to MARAD officials. The information is used by MARAD in determining fair and reasonable guideline rates for the carriage of preference cargoes on U.S.flag vessels. In addition, U.S.-flag vessel operators are required to submit Post PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72873 Voyage Reports to MARAD after completion of a cargo preference voyage. Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 740 hours. Addressee: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, Northwest, Washington, DC 20503, Attention MARAD Desk Officer. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. A comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Authority: 49 CFR 1.66. Issued in Washington, DC on November 30, 2005. Joel C. Richard, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. E5–6918 Filed 12–6–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements; Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review Maritime Administration, DOT. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The nature of the information collection is described as well as its expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on August 29, 2005, and comments were due by October 28, 2005. No comments were received. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 6, 2006. E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 234 (Wednesday, December 7, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72871-72873]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-23678]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for High-
Capacity Transit Improvements in the Southern Corridor of Honolulu, HI

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the City and 
County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services (DTS) intend 
to prepare an EIS (and Alternative Analysis (AA)) on a proposal by the 
City and County of Honolulu to implement transit improvements that 
potentially include high-capacity transit service in a 25-mile travel 
corridor between Kapolei and the University of Hawaii at Manoa and 
Waikiki. Alternatives proposed to be considered in the AA and draft EIS 
include No Build, Transportation System Management, Managed Lanes, and 
Fixed Guideway Transit. Other transit alternatives may be identified 
during the scoping process.
    The EIS will be prepared to satisfy the requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing 
regulations. The FTA and DTS request public and interagency input on 
the purpose and needs to be addressed by the project, the alternatives 
to be considered, and the scope of the EIS for the corridor, including 
the alternatives and the environmental and community impacts to be 
evaluated.

DATES: Scoping Comments Due Date: Written comments on the scope of the 
NEPA review, including the alternatives to be considered and the 
related impacts to be assessed, should be sent to DTS by January 9, 
2006. See ADDRESSES below.
    Scoping Meetings: Meetings to accept comments on the proposed 
alternatives, scope of the EIS, and purpose of and needs to be 
addressed by the alternatives will be held on December 13 and 14, 2005 
at the locations given in ADDRESSES below. On December 13, 2005, the 
public scoping meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 8 p.m. 
or until all who wish to provide oral comments have been given the 
opportunity. The meeting on December 14, 2005 will begin at 7 p.m. and 
continue until 9 p.m. or until all who wish to provide oral comments 
have been given the opportunity. The locations are accessible to people 
with disabilities. A court reporter will record oral comments. Forms 
will be provided on which to provide written comments. Project staff 
will be available at the meeting to informally discuss the EIS scope 
and the proposed project. Governmental agencies are also invited to a 
separate scoping meeting to be held on December 13 from 2 p.m. until 4 
p.m. Further information will be available at the scoping meeting and 
may also be obtained by calling (808) 566-2299, by downloading from 
http://www.honolulutransit.org, or by e-mailing 
info@honolulutransit.org.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the 
alternatives to be considered and the related impacts to be assessed, 
should be sent to both the Department of Transportation Services, City 
and County of Honolulu, 650 South King Street, 3rd Floor, Honolulu, HI, 
96813, Attention: Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, or 
by the Internet at http://www.honolulutransit.org and Ms. Donna 
Turchie, Federal Transit Administration, Region IX, 201 Mission Street, 
Suite 2210, San Francisco, CA 94105 or by e-mail: 
Donna.Turchie@fta.dot.gov.
    The scoping meetings will be held at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, 
Pikake Room, at 77 Ward Avenue on December 13, 2005 from 5 p.m. to 8 
p.m. and at Kapolei Middle School Cafeteria, at 91-5335 Kapolei Parkway 
on December 14, 2005 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The FTA contact is Ms. Donna Turchie, 
Federal Transit Administration, Region IX, 201 Mission Street, Room 
2210, San Francisco, CA 94105. Phone: (415) 744-2737. Fax: (415) 744-
2726.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Scoping

    The FTA and DTS invite all interested individuals and 
organizations, and Federal, State, and local agencies, to comment on 
the purpose and need, project alternatives, and scope of the EIS. 
During the scoping process, comments should focus on the purpose and 
need for a project, identifying specific transportation problems to be 
evaluated, or on proposing transportation alternatives that may be less 
costly, more effective, or have fewer environmental impacts while 
improving mobility in the corridor. At this time, comments should not 
focus on a preference for a particular alternative. The opportunity for 
that type of input will be after the release of the AA final report, 
which will compare various alternatives.
    Following the public scoping process, public outreach activities 
with interested parties or groups throughout the duration of work on 
the EIS will occur. The project Web site, http://
www.honolulutransit.org, will be updated periodically to reflect the 
status of the project. Additional opportunities for public 
participation will be announced through mailings, notices, 
advertisements, and press releases. Those wishing to be placed on the 
project mailing list may do so by registering on the Web site at http:/
/www.honolulutransit.org, or by calling (808) 566-2299.

II. Description of Study Area

    The proposed project study area is the travel corridor between 
Kapolei and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) and Waikiki. 
This narrow, linear corridor is confined by the Waianae and Koolau 
mountain ranges to the north (mauka direction) and the ocean to the 
south (makai direction). The corridor includes the majority of housing 
and employment on Oahu. The 2000 census indicates that 876,200 people 
live on Oahu. Of this number, over 552,000 people, or 63 percent, live 
within the corridor between Kapolei and Manoa/Waikiki. This area is 
projected to absorb 69 percent of the population growth projected to 
occur on Oahu between 2000 and 2030, resulting in an expected corridor 
population of

[[Page 72872]]

776,000 by 2030.Over the next twenty-five years, the Ewa/Kapolei area 
is projected to have the highest rate of housing and employment growth 
on Oahu. The Ewa/Kapolei area is developing as a ``second city'' to 
complement downtown Honolulu. The housing and employment growth in Ewa 
is identified in the General Plan for the City and County of Honolulu.

III. Purpose and Need

    Existing transportation infrastructure in this corridor is 
overburdened handling current levels of travel demand. Travelers 
experience substantial traffic congestion and delay at most times of 
the day, both on weekdays and on weekends. Automobile and transit users 
on Oahu currently experience 42,000 daily vehicle-hours of delay. By 
2030, this is projected to increase nearly seven-fold to 326,000 daily 
vehicle-hours of delay. Because the bus system primarily operates in 
mixed traffic, transit users experience the same level of delay as 
automobile drivers. Current morning peak-period travel times for 
motorists from Kapolei to downtown average between 40 and 60 minutes. 
By 2030 the travel times are projected to more than double. Within the 
urban core most major arterial streets will experience increasing peak 
congestion, including Ala Moana Boulevard, Dillingham Boulevard, 
Kalakaua Avenue, Kapiolani Boulevard, King Street and Nimitz Highway. 
Expansion of the roadway system between Kapolei and UH Manoa study 
corridor is constrained by physical barriers and by dense urban 
neighborhoods that abut many existing roadways.
    Numerous lower-income and minority workers live in the corridor 
outside of the urban core and commute to work in the primary urban 
center. Many of these workers rely on public transit because they are 
not able to afford the cost of vehicle ownership, operation, and 
parking.
    The intent of the proposed alternatives is to provide improved 
person-mobility in this highly congested east-west corridor. A high-
capacity improvement project would support the goals of the regional 
transportation plan by serving areas designated for urban growth, 
provide an alternative to private automobile travel and improve 
linkages between Kapolei, Honolulu's Urban Center, UH Manoa, Waikiki, 
and urban areas between these points.

IV. Alternatives

    The alternatives proposed for evaluation in the AA and draft EIS 
were developed through a screening process that identified the best 
reasonable alternatives from the range of possible alternatives. At a 
minimum, FTA and DTS propose to consider the following alternatives:
    1. No Build Alternative, which would include existing transit and 
highway facilities and planned transportation projects to the year 
2030.
    2. Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative, which would 
provide an enhanced bus system based on a hub-and-spoke route network, 
community bus circulators, conversion of the present morning peak hour 
only zipper lane to both a morning and afternoon peak hour zipper lane 
configuration, and relatively low-cost capital improvements on selected 
roadway facilities to give priority to buses. These capital 
improvements may include: Transportation system upgrades such as 
intersection improvements, minor road widening, traffic engineering 
actions, bus route restructuring, shortened bus headways, expanded use 
of articulated buses, express and limited-stop service, signalization 
improvements, and timed-transfer operations.
    3. Managed Lanes Alternatives, which would include construction of 
a two-lane grade-separated guideway between Waipahu and Downtown 
Honolulu for use by buses high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs), and toll-
paying single-occupant vehicles. The lanes would be managed by setting 
the minimum occupancy for HOVs and the tolls for single-occupant 
vehicles at levels that would preserve free-flow speeds on the 
facility.
    4. Fixed-Guideway Alternatives, which would include the 
construction and operation of a fixed transit guideway between Kapolei 
and UH Manoa and Waikiki on one of several possible alignments. 
Alignment alternatives to be considered include, but are not limited 
to:
     Kamokila Boulevard/Salt Lake Boulevard/King Street/Hotel 
Street/Alakea Street/Kapiolani Boulevard Alignment, which would serve 
various communities and activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, 
including UH West Oahu, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Salt Lake, 
Kalihi, Downtown Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala Moana Center, and Moiliili.
     North-South Road/Camp Catlin Road/King Street/Queen 
Street/Kapiolani Boulevard Alignment, which would serve various 
communities and activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, 
including UH West Oahu, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Pearl 
Harbor, Honolulu International Airport, Salt Lake, Kalihi, Downtown 
Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala Moana Center, and Moiliili.
     Ft. Weaver Road/Farrington Highway/Kamehameha Highway/
Dillingham Boulevard/Kaaahi Street/Beretania Street/King Street/Kaialiu 
Street Alignment, which would serve various communities and activity 
centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, including Kalaeloa, Ewa Villages, 
Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu 
International Airport, Kalihi Kai, Downtown Honolulu, Thomas Square, 
and Moiliili.
     North-South Road/Farrington Highway/Kamehameha Highway/
Airport/Dillingham Boulevard/Hotel Street/Kapiolani Boulevard with a 
Waikiki Spur Alignment, which would serve various communities and 
activity centers between Kapolei and UH Manoa, including Kalaeloa, UH 
West Oahu, Waipahu, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu 
International Airport, Kalihi Kai, Downtown Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala 
Moana Center, Moiliili, and Waikiki.

After appropriate public involvement and interagency coordination, 
other alternatives suggested during scoping may be added if they are 
found to be environmentally acceptable, financially feasible, and 
consistent with the purpose of and need for major transportation 
improvements in the corridor.

V. Probable Effects

    The EIS will evaluate and fully disclose the environmental 
consequences of the construction and operation of an expanded transit 
system on Oahu. The EIS will evaluate the impacts of all reasonable 
alternatives on land use, zoning, displacements, parklands, economic 
development, community disruptions, environmental justice, aesthetics, 
air quality, noise and vibration, wildlife, vegetation, threatened and 
endangered species, farmland, water quality, wetlands, waterways, 
floodplains, enemy, hazardous materials, and cultural, historic, and 
archaeological resources. Impacts to parklands and historic resources 
covered by Section 4(f) of the 1966 U.S. Department of Transportation 
Act also will be addressed.
    To ensure that all significant issues related to this proposed 
action are identified and addressed, scoping comments and suggestions 
are invited from all interested parties. Comments and questions should 
be directed to the DTS as noted in the ADDRESSES section above.

[[Page 72873]]

VI. FTA Procedures

    The EIS is being prepared in accordance with: the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and its 
implementing regulations by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 
regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); the FTA/Federal Highway 
Administration's ``Environmental Impact and Related Procedures'' 
regulations (23 CFR part 771); and Federal transit law (49 U.S.C. 5300) 
and its implementing regulations for major capital improvements (49 CFR 
611). In accordance with FTA policy, the NEPA process will also address 
the requirements of other applicable environmental laws, regulations, 
and executive orders, such as the National Historic Preservation Act of 
1966, as amended, Section 4(f) of the 1966 U.S. Department of 
Transportation Act, the Executive Orders on Environmental Stewardship 
and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, Environmental 
Justice, Floodplain Management, and Protection of Wetlands.
    The first step in preparation of the EIS will be an AA that will be 
consistent with both the requirements of NEPA for evaluation of a range 
of reasonable alternatives and the requirements of Federal transit law 
for consideration of alternatives during the development of major 
capital investment projects proposed for Federal funding. Upon 
completion, the AA final report will be available to the public and 
agencies for review and comment, and public hearings on the AA will be 
held at advertised locations within the study area. Based on the AA and 
public and agency comments received, the City and County of Honolulu 
will identify, a locally preferred alternative (LPA). The second step 
in preparation of the EIS will be the development of a Draft EIS to add 
further detail about the LPA and its impacts. Based on the findings in 
the Draft EIS and comments from the public and agencies, the City and 
County of Honolulu may decide to request that the LPA enter preliminary 
engineering (PE) of the LPA. FTA requires that the LPA be adopted and/
or confirmed in the conforming Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for 
Oahu as a condition for initiation of PE. With adoption into the RTP, 
and if the LPA meets the evaluation criteria identified in Federal law, 
FTA will approved the project into PE, which will include the 
simultaneous preparation of the Final EIS.

    Issued on: November 29, 2005.
Leslie T. Rogers,
Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-23678 Filed 12-6-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-M