Letters for Friday, August 11, 2017

• Dog and pony shows don’t solve traffic mess

Dog and pony shows don’t solve traffic mess

Over three years ago (Thursday, April 3, 2014) a project manager, a project consultant and a Hawaii DOT head planning engineer presented the findings of a long range plan for Kauai at the War Memorial Convention Hall.

The respected head of the Kapaa Business Association, Bob Bartolo, was at that meeting and had some interesting comments about on going traffic problems that are still with us today only much worse due to more people and more vehicles.

Mr. Bartolo, who has worked on the KBA traffic committee for the past two decades, said, “A Kapaa relief route has been in the works for at least a decade. Over that time state DOT officials spent millions of dollars conducting plans and study for the route, which has not yet broken ground providing very little relief for those who have been waiting for it.”

“We’ve been talking about it for years, right, and all this is really interesting because we’ve heard it a hundred times, but what are we going to do about it?”

And Mr Bartolo’s words have been echoed by hundreds of other citizens then, before, and now and yet, these transportation “experts” show no signs of progress. Somewhere in 20 or 30 years our people with the state and local government had the ability to float bonds or properly use the gas, vehicle registration, vehicle weight tax for giving us wider and alternate roads but they have miserably failed us.

And now our planning department can get into the picture and stop all large growth until the infrastructure is put in place to handle more and more vehicles that will come from these new developments. We cannot keep “ready, fire aiming” and let these problems destroy our island. How long will it take for tourists to stop coming to Kauai to sit in traffic jams when they can do the same thing in the cities they came from? Regretfully, but factually, tourism is the engine that keeps our paradise running and we need it.

Another traffic meeting was held on Kauai (June 20) and it was the usual dog and pony show. One and one half hours of listening to talk and seeing charts (not even readable from 20 feet away!) and leaving the meeting with nothing really accomplished except that those running the meeting satisfied the Sunshine Law!

Where are the people we vote for and hire to solve problems like this? We have no one person to point the finger at but if we had a county manager we would have such a person.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

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