I’m on the highway every day. Up and down these highways several times a day, I see it all.
Over the years I have noticed the decline of maintenance on our roads. The state and county just don’t seem to take pride in caring for our roadsides anymore.
Overgrowth is a big problem. So many of our traffic accidents occur when motorists cross the double solid line resulting in head-on crashes. With all the overgrowth along our highways and guardrails it restricts your vision, which is very dangerous. This situation limits your reaction time to see the other vehicle crossing over to your lane.
I have already experienced this. Also, county roads are already skinny without all the neglected overgrowth adding to the problem. I see the state has already sprayed poison along the roadways. I heard they weren’t going to do that anymore. It doesn’t help. Fire hydrants were buried in the buffalo grass. What if they need these hydrants in an emergency?
It’s reckless. This promotes more junk cars and boats and trailers to be abandoned along roadsides. More trash collects along roadsides. It makes it treacherous for people walking,biking, and hitchhiking, not to mention for the drivers coming up on the people along these roads at night. This neglect is dangerous.
Also, when the state finally mows alongside the roadways, the trash that had accumulated is shredded and left to adorn the roadside. The state should clean the trash after they mow, not leave it there until it potentially blows into the ocean.
Kauai is a vacation destination as well as home to so many that love and care for the aina. The state and the county need to do a better job of maintaining the roadways that we all use and see everyday. Adopt-a-highway is a good state program but it is voluntary. Most volunteers do a very good job of cleaning the trash from our highways.
I also applaud the people that randomly pickup trash on highway and parks and walkways. I know some of them. It makes it difficult and dangerous to clean trash of the highways when the buffalo grass is so overgrown over the guardrails.
I like to think that the most trash along the highway blows out the back of pickup trucks because I see it. I don’t like to think that people intentionally litter, but I see them. Those bags that hold ice are plentiful along the highway along with plastic bags and bottles. Many bags of trash fall off trucks and are never retrieved.
We can all pitch in by securing whatever is in the back of your pickup. be more responsible for what is in the back of the pickup that you are hauling to the dump or recycling.
And for all the people driving by all the trash on the highway, do your part and stop and pick some up. It will make you feel good when you look back and see the beautiful island of Kauai.
Janice Smolenski is a resident of Kilauea.