Star Advertiser: Improve Driving on Waianae Coast

Improve Driving on Leeeward Coast

Our View: Star Advertiser

11/17/15

Improving transportation on our Leeward coast remains as one of Councilmember’s top priorities. An editorial from the ‘Our View’ Section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser explains further about some of the measures to ease traffic flow in Waianae.

The state Department of Transportation is expected two traffic cameras each at Nanakuli and Haleakala avenues on Farrington Highway within the next six months. The camera project reinforces a move to add an additional turn lane and to adjust the traffic lights in the area all to make necessary inroads in decreasing the backlog during rush hour.

DOT is looking at extending its turn lane project to Hakimo Road, which would help reduce congestion. That stretch of Farrington Highway is currently two lanes each way. The turning lane would be helpful in the event of traffic accidents or other emergency situations, if used as an emergency contraflow lane to preserve two lanes of traffic in each direction.

Many Waianae residents endure heavy traffic each day, many of whom are forced to leave in the pre-dawn hours to avoid two-hour commutes. Once the cameras are working, residents will be able to view road conditions on the GoAkamai application, which provides images from more than 200 cameras located island wide. Drivers will be able to plan head by knowing where problem spots are occurring.  Traffic managers should also be able to help speed response times. Currently, traffic coverage cameras do not extend past Kapolei.

Meanwhile, plans are in the works for the much-needed improvement of Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue from West Perimeter Road to Enterprise Street in nearby Kalaeloa. An agreement would transfer that section of Roosevelt Avenue from the state DOT to the state Hawaii Community Development Authority, a move that would expedite HCDA’s improvement of the road up to city standards. The roadway would be turned over to the city upon completion.

The poor condition of more than 20 miles of roadways in Kalaeloa has hampered development in the area, and the inability to address differing roadway standards has delayed necessary work.

“There is a reason Kalaeloa hasn’t been developed the way it should have been,” said City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine.

Plans could allow for center lanes, a 20-foot median and concrete sidewalks, and setting aside 14 feet on each side for possible widening.