Letter for Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Drive with caution, patience, aloha
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That’s thought. When you drive, do you use your iPhone or any kind of phone on a dash board? Or do you have any gadgets connected to your car? I was just curious who you might be. Some times if you’re not careful these gadgets can be a hindrance and cause accidents. I don’t know what the data is on this, but I see lots of cars with certain gadgets connected to the dash board. If you are a gadget person, then by all means learn it well. I am one of those, but also the programmers side to gadgets is me. Computer programming is really big among those gadgets. So these programs takes me a long ways, even if I don’t have those gadgets on my car. Just one thought to know.
What do you mean by gadgets connected to your car? All newer cars have in dashboard computer and steering wheel control systems. Cars have had radios with buttons and dials since before I was born. What exactly is bothering you? Are you talking about someone attaching a PS2 to the dashboard and playing Call Of Duty while driving? Not sure where you are going with this. Drivers are responsible for their driving period.
Well put RGLadder37. This is not an issue limited to the Island or even the state. It is time to pass strict and enforceable laws that govern the use of these devices nationwide. And then, enforce the law. Fine people, take away their license and even put them in jail. This is killing people and all of us see this happening all the time. The statistics of the accidents caused by driving while distracted have got to be overwhelming.
It is so obvious, it would seem that thousands of people have already thought of at least one or more solutions to reducing the backup to traffic on the Eastside, for at least those afternoon hours when the traffic going South varies from a complete “HALT”, to the “CRAWL”, and back again to the Halt and Crawl…all the while the Northbound traffic is “cruising ” up the Eastside like they are on a deserted desert highway, except for the 1/2 hour of pau hana traffic of mostly State and County , and Big Box workers, etc., heading home from work.
Solution: 1. The next time the cones, better to use the glue down white traffic sticks, are set for the morning traffic to Lihue, set them permanently with the glue used to set the white sticks at the Hanamaulu stop light where it separates the traffic continuing towards the Airport. State saves money and can do other projects for our community, plus no danger to those workers as well as the slow down they create twice a morning.
2. Where it seems it would be a traffic benefit, add more traffic circles, not the $17 Million dollar ones, but the $5 thousand to $10,000 dollar glue down white sticks kind, same sticks like the stop light at the split for the Airport / Hanamaulu turnoff.
3. All Traffic Circles should have 4 signs posted saying “Allow 2 Cars on Your Left to Pass” so that the traffic flows smoothly instead of 20 selfish NO ALOHA drivers “hogging” the circle, and backing up traffic for other drivers on their right trying to enter the Circle.
4. When feasible, as in after construction is done for the 4 lanes fronting Coco Palms, allow the Kuhio Highway northbound traffic to free flow North, no stop, in the right hand lane, just like we can do already at the stop light at the Airport / Hanamaulu “Split”. This way the traffic coming out of Kumamoo at Coco Palms, can turn north with the green light onto the Kuhio Highway, again with White glue down Traffic Sticks, making sure the Kumamoo traffic no crash the traffic going north after crossing the Wailua River in the right hand lane going north.
5. Left turns only allowed at Stop Lights or at the new Traffic Circles. Sorry the “left turns gotta adjust to the new system, same as when you forget to turn and gotta go further to turn around putting you in the right hand lane to exit smoothly to where you are going.
6. The traffic lights during afternoons could be set to longer North and Southbound flow of the traffic. Those waiting to exit in the shopping centers need wait a few more minutes, but will enjoy flowing traffic once on the Kuhio Highway.
7. Most of these changes could be done tomorrow. It would make locals and visitors less aggravated and stressed. It would be a form of Health Care not being irritated every day if you are Stuck Here In Traffic.
There should NOT be an “unlimited” amount of tourists cars allowed. It really effects the quality of life of our island life. We had over a year to restructure this and it seems like nothing has changed. Sigh…..
There is not an “unlimited” amount of tourist cars, there is exactly the amount of tourist cars that the island has chosen for the tourism industry plus an 80% increase in the number of resident cars since these roads were designed. Stop over-building the island and stop blaming the tourists when it’s the local decisions that have created this situation.
You would think that after all of the talk about right sizing tourism, the county would at least figure out a way to pause more visitor development, at least until the infrastructure can keep up. Hundreds of 2 to 4 bedroom are visitor condo/units being built back by Kiahuna golf course, and a another “wellness” resort at Kukuiula with over a hundred TVR and lodge units? I’m all for housing to keep up with demand, but this is ridiculous So much for all of the talk.
I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious here but the best way to cut down on traffic is to not drive cars.
Take the bus, expand the bicycle infrastructure so it’s easier to get around.
For example it’s easy to ride from Lihue to Kapaa on the side of the highway, but the shoulder is so narrow on the Wailua to Lihue section that it’s not safe to ride.
There should be a dedicated trail, away from the highway so that cyclists don’t have to risk their lives ending because a driver wasn’t paying attention, and they don’t have to risk lung cancer from breathing all the exhaust, and to reward them with a pretty view for being so kind as to not clog up the highway with another oversized truck.
The trail should be safe enough that you can allow your children to ride to the next town without having to worry they’ll die on the way.
Add a huge rental car tax for people from off island, so that renting a car costs as much as renting an UBER for their whole stay, then provide better bus service so that the tourists can just take buses around instead of clogging up traffic.
Make the vehicle weight tax progressive, So the more money the driver earns on their income tax they higher their tax, and use that to help cover the costs of improving the bus and bicycle options.
People using the bus and bicycles have the added bonuses of polluting less, and being responsible for less wear and tear on the roads. We should be incentivizing good behavior.
Install bicycle and pedestrian overpasses at key points around the east side so that pedestrians don’t have to sit waiting 5-10 minutes for cars just to cross the highway. Make sure the cars get to see how much of a hassle they could be spared if they just got out of the vehicle and walked.
As an added bonus getting exercise from walking and biking instead of driving boosts serotonin and dopamine, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, improves the cognition capacity of the brain, and makes people much happier and more friendly to their neighbors; Unlike to the people who are crabby bitter and angry because it takes 30 mins to drive from Safeway to House lots on a Saturday morning, and who like to rant about tourists and wanting more roads in the comment section of TGI.
You can see Braess paradox at work every afternoon in Wailua.
Paradise lost…You nailed it! Your ideas are wonderful and I hope the powers that be are listening. A happier and healthier island.