Be cool and show aloha in school traffic
When it comes to alleviating Honolulu’s infamous traffic congestion, it seems the news has been nothing but bad.
The state recently announced it would postpone construction of badly needed new roads, saying it doesn’t have enough money.
On Thursday, the CEO of the city’s rail transit project resigned under a hail of criticism. That project, at $8.3 billion and counting, doesn’t have enough money either.
Never mind. On Monday, ready or not, we welcome thousands more commuters onto our overcrowded highways and buses, as more than 53,000 students resume classes at private schools, colleges and the University of Hawaii — the annual Back to School Jam. Public schools are already back in session.
The usual traffic crush will get even worse, and drivers will have to get creative to minimize the pain and the road rage.
It’s estimated that a Honolulu commuter loses 50 hours to traffic delays a year, at a cost of $1,125, according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard. And those estimates were based on 2014 data. If anything, it’s gotten more crowded out there.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT), while holding back on new construction, is touting its efforts to provide smaller, cheaper ways to increase road capacity where demand is highest. Among them: >> Driving on the shoulder: The shoulder lane on the H-1 freeway eastbound, from the Kualakai Parkway onramp to the Kunia/Waipahu/Ewa offramp, is open to morning commuters from 5-9 a.m. weekdays.
>> More zip: Two Zipper Lanes are now available from the H1-H2 merge to the Pearl Harbor area, from 5:30-9 a.m. weekdays.
>> West Side contra-flow: A 1.5 mile contra-flow lane beginning at Piliokahi Avenue and ending around Nanaikeola Street should ease afternoon traffic heading west along the Leeward Coast, from 3:30-7 p.m. weekdays.
>> More HOV: Certain HOV lanes, including the Zipper Lanes, have extended hours, from 5:309 a.m. weekdays, a 30-minute increase that went into effect on June 27. Visit hidot.hawaii.gov for more information.
In addition, DOT will suspend construction work on major highways during daylight hours next week. DOT’s Freeway Service Patrol will be available to help stranded motorists and keep roadways clear. Call 841-HELP (4357).
Motorists can help themselves by keeping informed. In addition to the usual traffic cams and media reports, DOT’s GoAkamai.org website and app for mobile devices provide real-time traffic conditions and other tools, like traffic alerts for specific routes. Just be akamai — don’t use the app while driving.
OF COURSE, these mitigating efforts by DOT, while welcome, are not long-term solutions. Moving forward, DOT will have to press ahead with its long-delayed construction projects, both on Oahu and the neighbor islands, to build more capacity where it’s most desperately needed.
And the city’s rail transit project needs to press ahead, too; finishing the line to Ala Moana Center will require strong, reliable leadership from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation — something that doesn’t exist now, especially with the untimely departure of Dan Grabauskas.
With looming deadlines for a federally mandated recovery plan, that vacuum needs to be filled quickly.
In the meantime, informed motorists with well-honed strategies can minimize the time they spend in traffic. They can drive at off-peak hours, use other modes of transportation like bicycles or walking, and carpool.
And perhaps the most important advice for drivers who want to Beat the School Jam: Be cool, and show aloha.
aeAaeole i kana mai kuaeu mahalo i nä küpuna na läkou i alakaaei mai a hiki au i koaeu wahi e kü nei. E aeole läkou, launa pü ai au me kekahi mau känaka maikaaei wale aaeu e aloha nui ai. A aeo kekahi o läkou, aeo ia ka hiapaaeiaeole nona këia moaeolelo. aeO Noaeeau Warner ka inoa o ua hiapaaeiaeole nei. A aeo Sam Leonard Warner kona inoa i kona wä i hänau ai. A ma hope mai kona kapa aeia aeana aeo Noaeeau. >>
Ua noho ihola aeo Samuel Claude Warner a me Emma Kaleleonalani Mitsuhashi he käne a he wahine, a hänau mai nä läua he aeehä keiki, aeo Kenneth Kahale, aeo Herbert Kelii, aeo Leonard Kalani a me Francis Kuihelani. aeO ka lua o ke keiki, aeo ia ka makuakäne o ka mea nona këia moaeolelo. aeO Tom Man Sau a aeo Ching Lai, noho ihola he käne a he wahine, a hänau mai mai ko läua pühaka mai, aeo Young Chan Tom läua aeo Young Kin Tom, a aeo Dorothy kekahi inoa ona. A aeo ka mea hope, aeo ia kä Herbert Kelii wahine i hoaeohihi aku ai, a ma hope mai, ua hänau mai na läua, he aeekolu keiki, aeo Herbert Kelii aeÖpio, aeo Claudia Mikiola (Gonzales), a me Sam Leonard, ka meaee uaei o Nuaeuanu. A aeo Sam, he pökiaei no Makoa, he mämä ma ka holo, a he mau makana heihei kai lilo iä ia i kona wä haumäna i ke Kula Kiaeekiaee aeo Kamehameha.
aeO këia meaee o käkou, he ikaika ma ke kükini, akä, he keu aku nö hoaei aeo ia a ka noaeeau, a he hiapaaeiaeole ma ka hoaeonaaeauao aeana. aeOiai aeo ia ma ke kula kiaeekiaee, i kekahi lä, e kali ana aeo ia nei i kona makuakäne, he kumu aaeo pöpö peku. E aaeo ana kona makuakäne i ka aealihikülele i ke aeano maikaaei o ka nou aeana. A nänä akula nä maka loiloi o ua keiki nei, a noaeonoaeo ihola, “aeAaeole paha e aeapo ana këlä aealihikülele i ka hana küpono ma muli o ka möakäka aeole o ke aaeo a ke kumu.” A i ka lohe aeana o ko aeoukou mea käkau i ia moaeolelo, ua ahuwale ka aeike hoaeonaaeauao o ko käkou meaee mai ka wä aeöpio mai. (A ma hope loa mai, ua lilo nö aeo ia i kumu aaeo i nä kumu kaiäpuni a me nä kumu o ke Kulanui kekahi.)
Ma hope o kona puka aeana, hele akula aeo ia i ke Kulanui o Hawaiaei ma Mänoa, a manaaeo ihola aeo ia me kekahi mau hoa, e komo i ka papa aeölelo Hawai’i. A aeölelo kekahi, he pono ka inoa Hawaiaei ke komo, a i ia manawa, haaei akula kekahi hoa, aeo Noaeeau paha kou inoa. A mai ia manawa mai, aeo ia ihola kona inoa.
Hoaeokahi mea hope loa e haaei aku ai no këia Hawaiaei Alakaaei o käkou, aeo Sam L. Noaeeau Warner. Ua pömaikaaei aeiaeo nö mäua aeo Kapä Oliveira. I kekahi kau, ua noi maila aeo Noaeeau iä mäua i ke kökua ma käna papa. aeO ka ‘ae koke akula nö ia o mäua, ua maopopo iä mäua, e maikaaei loa ana. Ua maopopo aeë iaaeu ka maikaaei wale o kona aaeo aeana akä ma ia kau, ua aeike leaea aeia. aeO Fred Astaire ma ka hulahula aeana, pëlä aeo Noaeeau ma ke aaeo aeana. aeO ia ihola kahi moaeolelo pökole no kaaeu kumu aloha nui aeia. Nui koaeu aloha a me ka mahalo iä aeoe e Noaeeau, a lana koaeu manaaeo, he hiki nö iaaeu nei a me nä hoa kumu ke hoaeomau i käu hana maikaaei wale.
Barney & Clyde By Gene Weingarten