Letter for Monday, January 14, 2019

Another thought on dealing with traffic

Kauai County should consider congestion pricing as a way to battle the traffic situation here on the cosmic Garden island.

Congestion pricing is a fee charged to drivers for the privilege to drive during heavy traffic, to help alleviate the situation. Since 2003, drivers in London have paid a daily rate of about $16 to access the heart of the city from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m on weekdays. Many U.S. cities with traffic gridlock are thinking of implementing this process, including Honolulu.

Before this could be implemented, the county bus would need to be ready for an influx of many more passengers. This would be great tax revenue for the county and get motor vehicles off the roads.

Also, every car rental could be accessed the $16 fee or whatever fee determined by our representatives. In the long run, it would get cars off the roads, people using mass transit and more tax dollars for the many problems facing our community. I believe it’s something our county council and new mayor should look into.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapaa

  1. Steven McMacken January 14, 2019 4:58 am Reply

    I think we should tax bicyclists. They’re the root cause of the majority of the island’s traffic problems. Not only are bike riders obnoxious do-gooders, they’re always riding where they shouldn’t and getting in the way of the cars. That’s something our county council and new mayor should look into.

    1. LTEreader January 15, 2019 10:44 am Reply

      Good one Steven! I always enjoy your quick-witted responses 🙂

  2. Ginger Doll January 14, 2019 6:27 am Reply

    I would offer an amendment to this $16 a day fee by exempting cars with three or more passengers. This would encourage car pooling and reduced traffic.

  3. Charlie Chimknee January 14, 2019 7:46 am Reply

    But “Kimo” easy for you to say…you only ride a bike.

    Some of us propose the 100 cars in a No Stopping CAR TRAIN…ABC Store in Kapa’a all the way to the “T” at Rice St. In LIHUE during traffic hours. Set the signals or set out the Traffic Control guys and gals.


  4. ruthann jones January 14, 2019 8:03 am Reply

    ..and this from a man without a car?

  5. Joe Public January 14, 2019 8:34 am Reply

    The easiest, and fair way to address this issue is to charge the rental companies a higher fee to register their vehicles within the County as the problem is too many rental cars, thus the tourist are not using the bus (public & private) to get to the scenic sites around the island.

    They should also increase the fines/penalties for the ones out there renting vehicles without the proper business licenses or insurance.

  6. Pointfisha January 14, 2019 11:46 am Reply

    That kind of fee strategy for traffic management only works in a centralized commuter city with clear business centers and suburbs., in which the majority of residents work a single job during standardized hours.

    Kauai is not London. It doesn’t have highly developed, overlapping public transportation systems like London’s extensive rail and “Tube” (subway) system, taxi system and bus system. London built those systems over centuries and its ways of work and life have been formed around them.

    The “9-5” urban life is unusual for most Kauai residents, and those who work 9-5 travel from all over. Few but the wealthy and visitors have the luxury of selecting theirs hours and directions of travel, and fees would do little to change their behaviors.

    All a peak use fee would do is put extra money in the county’s coffers and extra burden on people who have to get kids to school and move between multiple jobs across various locations.

  7. John Zwiebel January 14, 2019 12:48 pm Reply

    Wouldn’t it be much more effective to listen to our dear President Trump and build a wall around Kauai? That way we could control those immigrants from America who keep coming here unwanted. Maybe we could even get the county council to establish Kauai’s own ICE and start deporting unwanted immigrants.

    As with Trump’s policies, who would be allowed in would be decided arbitrarily. Those who were born on Kauai to “immigrants” could be called “DREAMERS” and given a special status that would make it seem as if there is something to compromise on. Heck, the council could even take away Birthright Citizenship for Kauai.

    Let us not acknowledge that the majority of the population growth on Kauai is from families who have lived here for years if not decades. That way the council can create division among those who live here while pretending that it actually doing something about the traffic problem.

    Perhaps the best idea would be for the Haoles to declare that God promised them Kauai so we could force all the Native Hawaiians to live at Taylor’s and put up a wall and periodically bomb them if they throw rocks and “God’s Chosen”.

    Of course, eventually, they’d all have to be “removed” to Niihau for being terrorists, but that can be dealt with later.

    [I hope it is clear that this is satire, like “Gulliver’s Travels”]

  8. Pete Antonson January 14, 2019 1:36 pm Reply

    This solution should be popular along with the other ones on this page. They all say: “Let’s solve this by doing something to that guy over there who isn’t me!”

  9. Steve Martin January 14, 2019 1:46 pm Reply

    We now have extra fees from the airlines for baggage, resort fees for staying at hotels as well as up to $50 a night for the privilege of parking on their property, and lately most restaurants are now charging a fee if you pay with anything but cash and now suggesting that we pay a fee for the privilege to drive a car during traffic congestion. In other words we are going to be fined. I can see now police stop you on the side of the road and charge you $16 in order to drive or you have to park your car and walk home or hitch a ride from some sucker that was stupid enough to give the police his or hers $16 fee. I hope none of this makes sense because the idea of it is as stupid as it sounds and besides when you feed this info to the council they will definitely think you are trying to insult what little intelligence they might have.

  10. Steve January 14, 2019 2:57 pm Reply

    Now every politician wants to go after Kauai’s economic golden goose and throttle rental cars (brilliant!) except for the one that thinks buses are the panacea—the obvious flaw being that so many here work multiple jobs (except for county workers) and have so little time to spare that the idea of spending your day waiting at bus stops trying to get 5 town errands done is fabulously ludicrous. The elephant in the room is the extra lane around + plus thru-traffic bypasses—which solution has been obvious for thirty years and should have been initiated years ago by our head-in-the-sand elected leadership too lazy to open the demographic forecasts that accurately predicted the population and visitor increases our tax dollars paid for. They should all be junketed to the many urban sites too numerous to name that are faced with having to condemn (and buy out) miles of homes and businesses in order to create a single lane of highway, forced to take notes, and then come back here and embrace the far simpler appropriation of fallow cane fields and muddy ditches (and maybe that Koloa cane haul tunnel that could provide a sorely needed alternate route from Poipu to the airport). But what do we have instead? A leadership that blames the state for its inability to get roads built, and wants to attack the visitor industry. Brilliant.

  11. numilalocal January 14, 2019 6:48 pm Reply

    Steve, where should bicycles ride? Joe, why do you blame traffic congestion on rental cars? What about all the people who’ve moved here and brought their own vehicles with them?

  12. ruthann jones January 15, 2019 2:16 am Reply

    …or the multi-generation ‘locals’ with six cars in the driveway and on the lawn.

  13. Kona January 15, 2019 11:20 am Reply

    Just stop building until the roads are fixed! Simple solution!

    JUST STOP!!!

    Fix the road situation, until we have the roads built out; no new homes, apartments, condos, hotels, whatever, cannot be built until we have the traffic flowing!

    OOOOOOhhhhh, nooooo one will agree to that! Especially the council, they will lose too much money!!

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