by Representative Andria Tupola
Traffic is changing our way of life, especially on the Leeward coast.
Because I realize the hardships of families on our coast, my office decided to look for more diverse solutions to alleviate the traffic situation. As commuters, we need commuter, traffic and road efficiency solutions.
The West side is in desperate need of traffic cameras, so that commuters can plan ahead for lane closures or accidents. I have been working with the state Department of Transportation to get cameras installed on the West side, but we need solutions now.
My office has been working with Honolulu City Traffic Management Center to extend the timing of the lights on Farrington Highway. The green light synchronization was set for 3 minutes and 20 seconds from 4 to 6 p.m. starting at the first light in Nanakuli. In February, the lights were changed to the maximum of 4 minutes starting at 3 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m., starting from the first light in Nanakuli.
As an immediate remedy, I created the West Side Traffic Alert on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/westsidetrafficalert/
The website has more than 4,156 members as of March 26, who have brought numerous concerns to my attention, which has increased my response to constituents. The conversations from group exchanges of ideas has added depth to the portfolio of various ideas being brought to the table.
The Department of Transportation now has developed a system of notifying me of lane closures and, thanks to the Facebook alert, within a few hours thousands of people are notified and can adjust their driving schedules.
There is no doubt we need greater resolutions, like a secondary access road, bus turnouts and turn lanes.
The development in Kapolei will adversely affect commuters on the West side. I will continue to work with our government departments in developing a breadth and depth of improvements for our commuters.
However, the immediate changes have provided some relief, and I’m excited to continue unveiling more answers as I work with different entities in the state.