State, City & Federal Officials Provide Traffic Improvement Update at Waianae Neighborhood Board Meeting on 4/5/16

-State Department of Transportation (DOT) Deputy Director of Highways, Edwin Sniffen

– City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services (DTS): Director Michael Formby, Ty Fukumitsu & Sandra Abelaye

– Department of Emergency Management (DEM) Deputy Director, Peter Hirai

– Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) Senior Planner, Chris Clark

– Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Captain, Benjamin Mahi

Note: the following are my rough notes from the meeting, based on my best effort to capture what was said. Please defer to the official meeting minutes once they are published.

DOT: Edwin Sniffen

Contra Flow

*Piliokahi Ave to Helelua St.: will change an eastbound lane to westbound starting late summer

* will run from 3:30-7pm to accommodate school buses needing to take children home and turn left before 3:30

* cost is $500k per year; justified to Feds that turn lane project is impacting traffic;80% paid by Feds

*cannot turn left in either direction

*to get Mauka need to use bridge to nowhere

*eastbound from Nanakuli allowed everywhere except from Nanakuli ave

*speed bumps and flashers will be added to Mano Ave.

*Possibly will look at eastbound contraflow as well later

*DOT website has link to contraflow presentation

Traffic Cameras

– traffic cameras will be added to Piliokahi Ave., Nanakuli Ave., Haleakala Ave. and Helelua St. by around 2017

– partnership between DTS, DOT, and Oceanic Cable

Other Improvements/Updates

– State in process of changing all street lights to LED bulbs

– Flashing crosswalks- national studies show they’re not effective; need to study area first

– DOT started pedestrian safety study on Leeward Coast; may eliminate some crosswalks

– Fuel tax bill (which died) was needed to fund the ORTP projects

– shoulder from kualaka’i Parkway to Kunia to be opened during rush hour around summer time

– zipper lane: will widen to accommodate 2 lanes

– extend to 9am & 3-7pm: zipper and shoulder

– Nanakuli turn lanes: April/August 2017 end date; working on this now

DOT will be presenting again and seeking community feedback at the Ahupua’a o Nanakuli Homestead meeting on 05/09/16 at 7pm at Ka Waihona o ka Na’auao

DTS: Michael Formby, Ty Fukumitsu & Sandra Abelaye

DEM: Peter Hirai

– traffic cameras: public/private partnership to bring traffic cameras to Waianae

– Webcam access will be at the 4 intersections

– weight limit of bridge & whether buses can use it? not certain, DTS needs to check and get back to us

– Waianae Coast Emergency Access Rd (WCEAR) keys at Waianae police station and Nanakuli fire station

– DTS is planning to eliminate the bus stop and crosswalk in front of Nanakuli sack & save due to the high amount of traffic fatalities. It will be somewhat of an inconvenience because now both the crosswalk and bus stop will move to KFC/lualualei naval rd, but overall it appears most agree it’s needed to increase safety since there is a traffic light there. The change should also help with traffic flow. No exact date is set yet for the change but it should be happening in the near future.

– bus stop changes & further info re WCEAR can be found on DTS & DEM’s websites

– DEM is scheduled to present a WCEAR update to the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:00pm at Nanaikapono cafeteria.

OMPO: Chris Clark

– Farrington Hwy realignment study at Makaha beach: status is they are seeking proposals to do the study

– 04/13/16 OMPO policy board meeting

– projects 351, 708, 51 affect the Waianae Coast

-15-16 comments received from this community

– project 54/351: widening Farrington hwy from Kalaeloa to hakimo. Whether or not this project can be bumped up depends on many factors, such as funding

HPD: Benjamin Mahi

– tolerance period will be in place to give drivers time to learn and understand new traffic patterns during contra flow hours

– Question I posed: when you call 911 they don’t seem aware of WCEAR protocol. Can they transfer people asking to open WCEAR to the lead officer on duty at Waianae Police station instead? HPD responded that they need to engage in further discussions regarding WCEAR protocols

– May 20, 2016: dedication & opening of new police station in Waianae


Conclusion: WNB passed motion to allow use of “bridge to nowhere” during contra flow hours

One Response

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Maile! Greatly appreciated! I may have misread, I ask you for a bit of clarification, please. In your notes above, it was mentioned that the zipper lane will be extended during the pm hours, 3-7pm. Is this a bread-crumb to having a zipper lane on eastbound lanes of the freeway (for westbound commuters) in the making? I know this was taken off the table when rail construction started- not having the funds to move forward on that project. Or were you speaking of Nanakuli’s contra flow lane being open from 330p to 7pm? (I’ll also post this on FB where you shared the link)


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