Letters for Thursday, March 16, 2017

• Thank you for assistance • Stop dreaming, fix traffic problem

Thank you for assistance

To the two wahine in the office who guided me to find my father’s obituary and memorial. The Kauai Historical Society fortunately had an old Garden Island issue that contained both. Thank you so very much.

My father, Yoshito R. Nakashima, had been a teacher at Eleele School for 40 years but also covered sports events for the GI for even a longer period. The memorial was written by a Ron Sounes and both the obituary and it appeared in the Aug. 20, 1982 edition of TGI.

My father’s connection with The Garden Island went back to the says of Charlie Fern and when the paper was printed only once a week. Writing for the paper was an important part of his life and it would not have been complete without it.

My sincerest mahalo to the both of you and to The Garden Island.

Leslie Nakashima, Chicago

Stop dreaming, fix traffic problem

Whether it is our local people or visitors, the number one problem that they list as needing fixing is our traffic.

But this is not a problem that started yesterday and hasn’t given our leaders time to correct. It is a problem that goes back decades ago when brighter minds had the foresight to propose alternate routes on Kauai to handle future population and vehicle travel instead of having basically one road that circles our Island.

But selfish and greedy people who believed that alternate routes would hurt their businesses stopped these plans from happening, and thus we have the horrendous traffic that hurts everyone and gets worse by the day.

So what are the people we elect and hire today doing to address our No. 1 problem? They keep hiring planners and consultants to tell us that we need to get drivers out of their vehicles and walk, bike, bus or shuttle to get to their destinations, an unrealistic dream that defies any practicality.

People capable of driving need and want their vehicles and nothing is going to make them abandon them. Whether commuting to work, using a truck or car for their job or simply having that vehicle available any time they want or need it, they are going to keep it.

So who and why are those responsible for the welfare of Kauai hiring “experts” to give us answers to our problems that are, at best, a myth? Look at the bike lanes being put along our roads. For what? When few or anyone ever uses them! And those lanes are not only impractical for alleviating traffic but by narrowing the street width, it limits the vehicle lanes and actually exacerbates the problem.

We have two excellent examples of why adding vehicle lanes and getting more alternate routes will work — facts and not dreams.

The contraflow lanes have worked well since a wiser mind put them into use. Proving that by adding one more lane, traffic at peak hours will flow better. But at a cost of $3,000 a day, we have spent millions of dollars over the years using the contraflow whereas other lanes could have been added for less.

The Kapaa bypass road has served as a great example of an alternate route alleviating traffic off Kuhio Highway and it took nine months to build without an environmental impact statement, since it was an existing cane haul road, meaning that with proper leadership many or our cane roads could serve the same purpose — facts and not dreams.

These so called planners, designers and consultants and the people who hired them cannot show us factual proof of another municipality the size and geographical location of Kauai that has eliminated traffic by walking, biking and busing— political games at its worst!

Shouldn’t we be taking a page out of a successful play book like the contraflow and bypass road instead of wasting time, money and effort on a dream?

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

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