What Do You Think About These Proposed Traffic Solutions?

I am working with other policy-makers to improve our traffic situation by extending our emergency access road and allowing it to be used during road work, creating a parallel route for daily use, etc.  Here is a resolution (see below) we drafted that the Neighborhood Board may consider passing in the coming months.  Please let us know what you think since community support is critical to make this happen. Click on “Leave a comment” at the end of this post or email me at maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com or senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov. -Maile

Proposed Resolution


WHEREAS, although West Oahu has experienced exponential growth and development over the last 20 years, transportation infrastructure has not kept pace, with traffic volume on Farrington Highway increasing from an average of 20,000 vehicles per day in 2000 to 50,000 vehicles per day in 2016; and

WHEREAS, the July 2015 water main break near Piliokahi Avenue shut down all lanes of Farrington Highway for over 48 hours. During this disaster, the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) was open. However, frustrated drivers were still stuck in horrendous gridlock for 4-6+ hours to get in and out of the Waianae Coast. WCEAR proved to be problematic, since the “Bridge to Nowhere” at Kalanianaole Beach Park was grossly inadequate; and

WHEREAS, following the water main break, residents demanded that policy-makers improve WCEAR and expand its usage. Thereafter, the Ahupua`a o Nanakuli Homestead (AONH), area legislators, and other community leaders hosted a series of public meetings and site visits to examine possible ways to improve WCEAR; and  

WHEREAS, in 2016 and 2017, the State Legislature and City Council allocated a total of $9m ($6m in 2016, and $3m in 2017) to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) and the City Department of Emergency Management (DEM) for the purpose of extending WCEAR further east past Helelua Street and making other improvements. The $6m allocated in 2016 will lapse in June 2018; and

WHEREAS, DHHL has determined that the most favorable route to extend WCEAR is from Puu Heleakala park to the Door of Faith Church driveway on Haleakala Avenue. DHHL is conducting community consultations regarding this proposed route, and is also proposing to conduct an environmental study of this route; and

WHEREAS, during the first week back to public school in August 2017, multiple lane closures for road work took place in Nanakuli, creating a horrible traffic gridlock. Residents demanded swift action, and as a result, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) ended lane closures for two weeks to allow it time to request the use of WCEAR; and

WHEREAS, for many years, and increasingly since this incident, residents have begged policy-makers to build a permanent second access road, and to allow WCEAR to be used more regularly, such as during road work, traffic accidents, rush hour, and other times of congestion; and

WHEREAS, DOT has indicated its support to regularly use WCEAR for planned lane closures due to road work. Currently, DOT must go through a lengthy process to use WCEAR, including consulting area residents; and

WHEREAS, DEM has indicated that the existing WCEAR roadways are limited to declared emergencies, pursuant to written agreements with private landowners and environmental studies. Thus, DEM could not support using existing WCEAR roadways for planned lane closures for road work. However, DEM has no objection to using new WCEAR extensions for this purpose, provided that the environmental studies and agreements allow for this use; and

WHEREAS, affected communities are understandably reluctant to support having WCEAR extensions built through their neighborhoods, and may oppose expanding the use of WCEAR to include road work; and

WHEREAS, Sea Country, Mailiilii Road, Paakea Road, Hakimo Road, Lualualei Naval Road, Sack and Save, Puu Heleakala, and other areas along Farrington Highway have emergency access roads running through their neighborhoods. After Helelua Street, however, WCEAR ends until the “bridge to nowhere” at Kalanianaole Beach Park. Unfortunately, as was evidenced by the 2015 water main break, this bridge is an insufficient solution in and of itself; and

WHEREAS, the WCEAR 2001 plan indicated that the Paakea Road portion of WCEAR should be open permanently for daily use, and area residents and farmers support this change; and

WHEREAS, policy-makers understand that many residents want a second highway in addition to WCEAR improvements. However, a second highway is a long-term solution that is not likely to happen for decades. Thus, in the meantime, policy-makers are working on creating a parallel route, in the vicinity of “Series 7” at Piliokahi Avenue, to Lualualei Naval Road, and elsewhere along the coast.  This route would be a series of roads and bridges connecting existing roads which would be open for daily use; and

WHEREAS, policy-makers have been tasked to come up with expeditious solutions to improve WCEAR, emergency evacuations, and other traffic congestion. These solutions may be opposed by some, but are necessary sacrifices for the greater good; and now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board, that DHHL, DEM, and other area policy-makers are urged to build extensions of WCEAR, including from Puu Heleakala park to Door of Faith Church driveway on Haleakala Avenue, as well as other extensions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHHL, DEM and other area policy-makers are urged to include planned lane closures for road work as an allowable use of WCEAR; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City and other area policy-makers are urged to condemn the locked Paakea Road portion of WCEAR to make it available for daily public use; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHHL, DOT, the City and other area policy-makers are urged to construct a parallel route for daily use, in the vicinity of Series 7 to Lualualei Naval Road and elsewhere throughout the Waianae Coast; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHHL, DOT, the City and other area policy-makers are urged to create plans, including route maps, timelines for implementation, measures to avoid or mitigate disruption of access to currently available routes, an artist’s rendition of the conceptual routes, and any other relevant information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to DHHL, DEM, DOT, the City Department of Transportation Services, area legislators, community publications, and outlets for community distribution.