Letter for Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Traffic light would enhance safety

State Hawaii Department of Transportation and Gov. David Ige, we on Kauai need a traffic light at Kaumuali‘i Highway and Maluhia Junction.

I was traveling east on Kaumuali‘i Highway in that area mentioned above. I was one car away when I noticed an almost head-on accident with a tourist (wanting to turn onto Maluhia Road) attempting to race a vehicle approaching eastbound only 15 to 20 yards away. The tourist had to swerve when he/she noticed the mistake he/she made.

Also with traffic lights there, it will help drivers to merge unto Kaumuali‘i Highway eastbound. With traffic lights there, it will slow impatient drivers who need to turn unto Maluhia Road.

I know this letter, if printed will have a lot of negative responses. I truly believe the biggest response will be, “It will slow traffic flow!” However, we live on a small island and there is nowhere to rush to. Just leave 5 to 15 minutes earlier to your destination and hope there are no traffic accidents ahead.

Howard Tolbe, Eleele

9 Comments
  1. Lawaibob November 26, 2019 8:02 am Reply

    Blame Obama! Trump for Prison 2020


  2. Michael D Mann November 26, 2019 11:54 am Reply

    What is actually needed there is a proper interchange which allows for safe and efficient traffic flow. Even a large traffic circle would improve the situation tremendously. A light will only encourage people to run through it.


    1. Howard Tolbe November 29, 2019 9:04 am Reply

      I like that , too!


  3. Gooding November 26, 2019 7:34 pm Reply

    No light is needed at that junction. That area is 50 mph. Its the people turning left, as the author mentioned, “tourist”, for some reason when tourist visit here they completely forget how to drive. They do stupid things like pull off to the side and try do a u-turn without looking. With regards to merging, half of the drivers on Kauai don’t know how to merge anyway, and that merging lane at that junction is too short.


  4. Citizen Cane November 26, 2019 9:48 pm Reply

    I am a 32-year resident of the south shore and drive that intersection multiple times per day. New affordable housing soon to open in Koloa will compound the need for a solution at Tree Tunnel/Kaumualii hwy—but NOT a light, please! First: Left (westbound) turns out of TT onto the highway should be banned—ppl can take Koloa Rd west, or go thru Omao if needed. Second: what’s needed is a proper exchange including a highway widening and longer, dedicated turn lanes off the highway from both directions. Also a reduced speed limit (and maybe a blinking yellow light?) Third: AN ALTERNATE ROUTE FROM POIPU TO LIHUE! —an easy decision since no businesses to be impacted by re-routed traffic, like in Wailua. How about that cane tunnel? Widen it and put it to good use! TT is not well shouldered nor lit properly and is dangerous and bears all east and northbound and returning traffic—great as a scenic route, inadequate and inefficient as an all-purpose utility route.


    1. manongindashadow0711 November 27, 2019 12:16 pm Reply

      What Citizen Cane, “lights or no lights”? Yellow light!


      1. Kimo December 2, 2019 4:47 pm Reply

        Citizen Cane, Brilliant! Now we’ll have people driving through Omao, up and down Omao Road going 50-60 miles per hour, instead of the usual 45-50! We are a residential community, NOT a highway! The speed limit is 25 mph! Period! Stop speeding through our neighborhood!!!!!!

        PS and FYI…. the brilliant comment was sarcastic…


  5. kaaona kipuka November 27, 2019 9:22 am Reply

    NO HOWARD!!! There is absolutely no need for a traffic light at the Kaumualii/Maluhia junction. Motorists just need to slow down, and drive as the situation/surroundings dictate. And have some sense of respect & consideration for fellow motorists. The problem is that you have a mixture of things that are contributing to the driving/traffic conditions on this island. 1. To many vehicles. 2. Ignorant/inexperienced members of the “local” community,(due to having never left the island or a ” AINOKEAIDOWATILIKEATTITUDE”), tourists from all walks of life and of course transplants who still think they’re commuting on I-40 or driving around Ilocos Norte or whatever other country they hail from. So with all that said. Good luck and be safe out there…


    1. Michael Mann November 28, 2019 10:38 pm Reply

      I would be willing to accept the frequent “slow down” mantra around here if people would allow SAFE PASSING and would stop driving as if they are asleep or drunk. The problem is that they won’t. There are very few places on the island where you can pass safely, and more often than not, people will remain i the left hand lane forcing you to pass on the right or even speed up to try to prevent you from passing. It is the law that if someone wants to overtake you, you are supposed to move over and allow them to pass. So when people are actively trying to prevent people from passing, all bets are off. I ofte wonder if the driving schools here are teaching people to drive this way. There is a degree of either selfishness or obliviousness in drivers here. I don’t believe the problem is too many vehicles…the problem is too many people who drive as if they have no idea what they are doing or don’t care that they are like a big boulder thrown into the middle of a narrow, fast moving stream. Any time you back up traffic or impede the smooth flow of it, YOU are creating a hazard. Stay in your lane. Do not drive in the shoulder. Do not cross the center yellow line. Use your signal. Stop making wide turns. Pay attention to how many people are behind you…if you have a bunch of cars stacked up behind you and nothing but empty road ahead of you, YOU are the problem. Pull over and let people pass if you are on some carefree leisure drive. Other people are trying to get somewhere. I don’t understand why this stuff is so difficult for people.


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