For Marcus Bender who has lived on Makiki Heights Drive for over 40 years, he has observed drift racing at all hours.
“It’s actually all day, all night,” he said.
“You’re living in a raceway basically where you hear (cars) screeching …,” Bender said adding he has observed up to three vehicles, one behind the other, racing on the road. “They use it as a race course.”
In addition to drift racing, area residents pointed out the 6- to 8-feet tall guinea grass on the roadside obstructs the view for motorists at the curves on Tantalus Drive. “You can’t see when you’re coming around the corner,” Bender said.
The city Department of Transportation Services is exploring ways to deter racing in the area. A meeting was recently held between transportation officials, representatives of the Tantalus Community Association, Makiki Heights Community Association, Honolulu Police Department, city Department of Design and Construction, and Councilmember Carol Fukunaga to address the issue.
Installation of traffic calming measures was suggested such as speed bumps and raised markers known as Botts’ dots.
Speed bumps, however, are not recommended for roads with curves and slopes under federal guidelines that the city administration must adhere to.
Jon Nouchi, deputy director of the Department of Transportation Services, has said Botts’ dots can cause more disturbances for the neighborhood with rumbling noises when motorists drive over the markers. They also tend to be slippery, especially in wet conditions.
Lectie Altman of Kaneohe finished first place overall in the women’s category of the 2016 Ironman Boulder in January. Altman was critically injured while training on Tantalus Drive in Makiki Heights.