Letter for Wednesday, January 9, 2019

An alternative to traffic congestion and homelessness

Traffic on all of Kauai is getting worse by the day. Something needs to be done to accommodate the number of vehicles on our roads and to keep those vehicles moving.

Roads need to be repaired and widened.

Traffic signals need to be modernized.

But until funding is available to accomplish these improvements, perhaps there is an alternative.

Rather than funding the improvements to accommodate the volume of traffic, how about we develop strategies to reduce that traffic volume.

We all know that a large percentage of the vehicles on our roads are visitors. While many of these visitors only spend the day here on Kauai, the majority of them rent accommodations here on the island. Those accommodations are either a hotel room, a B&B, or a vacation rental.

Traffic can be somewhat reduced by reducing the number of visitors.

The number of visitors can be reduced by reducing the availability of accommodations.

Shutting down illegal vacation rentals and illegal B&Bs will not only provide for a reduction in traffic, it will also provide the availability of more long-term rentals on Kauai. More long-term rentals will likely bring the rental rates down. Simple economics! To steal the words from a comment in TGI, “Kill two birds with one stone.”

Reduce traffic congestion and possibly reduce homelessness.

To assure that our council members and our new mayor see this letter, I’m sending it to them as well as to The Garden Island.

Larry Joseph Arruda, Wailua Homesteads

  1. IKUDIAS January 9, 2019 7:03 am Reply

    Come on Larry, the problem is the tourists that dont go home – everyone knows that

  2. I saw a Vampire once January 9, 2019 8:08 am Reply

    Obviously, you don’t go beyond Kaua’i. Many tourist are from California, and Oahu. The traffic is far worse there. Honestly, the traffic is nothing on Kaua’i. Other than boasting of your driving degree, GM Ford truck F-150, I don’t see anything wrong with that part of the island and traffic. Still slow compared to state numbers.

  3. I saw a Vampire once January 9, 2019 8:14 am Reply

    You have younger politicians who think differently. They would rather drive else where. Honestly, state numbers show the traffic on Kaua’i is nothing. Tailor your wants to them too. California and Oahu drivers. They already appreciate the island. It seems to me however, you don’t appreciate the island.

  4. RG DeSoto January 9, 2019 8:36 am Reply

    Larry…so let’s assume you are successful in reducing the number of tourists on island. Perhaps you’d like to enlighten us about the unintended consequences…like lost employment & income for island residents which exacerbates housing/rental issues. You know, kinda like the dog chasing its tail.
    Would you propose some dictatorial program that simply banned tourists? Just how do you accomplish a reduction in the number of visitors…especially considering the US Constitution’s Interstate Commerce clause?
    You’re an enigma, Larry. Some of your LTEs make you sound like a conservative and others, like this one, put you in the progressive socialist sphere.

    RG DeSoto

    1. Pete Antonson January 9, 2019 1:49 pm Reply

      Just a little unbalanced. “Progressive socialist” should be balanced by using “Conservative fascist!”

      1. RG DeSoto January 10, 2019 8:32 am Reply

        Get you terminology right: the fascist you are referring to are more correctly labeled as neo-conservatives (aka: Neo-Cons). Basically, they’re all socialists–left and right.
        RG DeSoto

    2. LJA January 9, 2019 3:26 pm Reply

      Loss of jobs = loss of “imported” laborers= less housing demand= Decrease in housing cost.
      I don’t give a R.A. about the traffic on Oahu or California. I live here on Kauai and i’m trying to suggest a solution to OUR traffic issues and OUR homeless issues. If you consider viable ideas as socialist or liberal or conservative, and you feel that you must catagorize everyone and everything as such, then you’ve got your head screwed on wrong.

      1. RG DeSoto January 10, 2019 8:28 am Reply

        Larry…read the constitution. Tell me how you can ban tourist or restrict the numbers without violating the Interstate Commerce clause (among others)?
        Your prescriptions are simply gun to the head, unrealistic, government coercion and trashing of individual liberty (freedom of movement). In other words you have not proposed anything worth a second thought.
        RG DeSoto

        1. Ginger Doll January 13, 2019 5:24 am Reply

          The Interstate Commerce clause does not ban States from regulating commerce within its borders. Individual states have the right to tax its residents and regulate business.
          A majority of Kauai residents, and many visitors, agree that our island has traffic and homeless problems.
          Government has a duty to tackle these issues. Political leaders must develop a plan to reduce the number of cars on the road. This will only happen when there is timely and reliable public transportation. Solve both by increasing the cost of operating cars with higher registration fees, fuel tax and inspections that will get old junkers off the road. The new revenue would go to fund an expanded Kauai Bus.
          Every visitor who arrives from the mainland fills out a visitor form listing the address of their stay. If they list an illegal vacation rental, investigators can check it out and close it.
          If they list a campground, there are legal limits to the number of days permitted to camp. Also listed on the visitor form is the date of departure. If the visitor stays and continues to live at a campground or sleeps rough on private property, the county must come to their assistance by providing them a ticket for their return to California.

  5. james January 9, 2019 9:22 am Reply

    Agree 100%. It is something that can be done now instead of endless talk and inaction. The investigators do a good job when they have enough evidence of an illegal vacation rental. Hire more investigators immediately; can’t be that expensive to do.

  6. doug henry January 9, 2019 10:37 am Reply

    For me, it seems that traffic is worse when schools are in session. If there were more carpools and children riding school buses, traffic would be better.

    1. Steve Martin January 10, 2019 9:59 pm Reply

      doug henry… use to make a difference, but now when all the schools close for summer and holiday breaks the traffic remains the same if not worse on some days. it continues to get worse everyday that a license gets issued or a plane lands. just cuz…. we need to continue to stock and sell new vehicles but at the same time we need to ship one off island selling it or junk it.

  7. Just Cuz January 9, 2019 1:46 pm Reply

    Following Larry’s logic we should close all schools immediately. No schools, no traffic. And while were at it, we should ban the sale of new cars on the island and only be allowed to buy and sell used cars that are already here. Just saying……………

  8. kauaidoug January 9, 2019 2:49 pm Reply

    AND above all no more development until our traffic snares fixed. I was thinking that there was a state study or that a state study of the traffic lights in Kapaa would cost hundreds of thousands dollars.
    What if there was a traffic sensor that could detect traffic stopped back to Foodland and when it was the light at Kuomo’o and Helelio could be extended even a minute or two but link them so the traffic just flows. NO BRAINER and two lights. The stop up is when Kuomo’o goes green by the time the last car towards Helelio gets started Kuomo’o is red again. There could be a flashing light of some sort letting cars stopped at those two intersection that a traffic adjustment is taking place. Just a no cost idea. Hope it’s worth something.

  9. manongindashadow January 9, 2019 4:48 pm Reply

    To many spoil young teenagers with cars. If they are close enough to walk to school let them walk or ride a bicycle. If school is a distant away have them ride the bus.
    Kauai Bus should offer school kids a affordable bus pass throughout the school year. This way they(teenagers) have another alternative to the school bus.
    Only then we will see less traffic on our highways and roads.

  10. Kona January 10, 2019 10:06 am Reply

    How many times are we going to go over this until something is actually accomplished?

    These council members sit there and do NOTHING and we keep voting them into office! They keep promising they will fix the traffic when they are running for office, and then they place the butts in their chairs and NOTHING HAPPENS!

    We need to hold THEM accountable. But how?

  11. Coral L Miles January 14, 2019 10:33 am Reply

    Good discussion…Widening roads, making them drivable (no potholes, less intrusion of side growth), more alternate routes. May I suggest renting smaller cars with prime spaces at business locations. Also, charging more the larger the car or truck. I doubt restricting visitors or accommodations will make any difference. It’s like saying restrict airline numbers. Kauai is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We are more than lucky to live here and to be able to share it with others from all over the world. We just have to find a way to do that and make everybody happy.

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