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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Honolulu Traffic: Most ‘Lane-Deficient’ City in USA
By Honolulu Traffic @ 12:10 AM :: 5668 Views :: Development, Rail

More City Visions: "Communities Designed to Reduce Automobile Use":

From Honolulu Traffic June 24, 2013

When politicians get into "visions" doesn't it remind you of the line in the Christmas ditty, "While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads"?  The following two paragraphs from the Ewa Development Plan give you an idea of the nonsense in this Plan. It is difficult to know whether they are deliberately lying or whether they are just stupid, or both. Just read it;

    "'Ewa will be developed with a transportation system which reduces congestion by providing connectivity, both within and between subdivisions, provides easy access to transit, uses traffic calming design, and encourages people to walk and bike, reducing the need for use of the automobile.

    "Where allowed by terrain, communities will be designed with multiple street/walkway connections to adjacent communities and collector roads at approximate 1 /4 mile intervals, thereby facilitating and encouraging convenient auto, pedestrian and bikeway access to parks, schools, neighborhood shopping and transit corridors. These connections will also reduce congestion on major regional roads by offering multiple alternative routes and facilitate improved neighborhood access for emergency and utility vehicles."

From the above you can see that we are back into "walk and bike, thus reducing the need of the automobile" even though there is no sign that it would work in reducing the coming increase in traffic congestion, or ever has, anywhere. As for the second paragraph we must remember George Orwell's line about, "Words covering the facts like soft snow."

The fact of the matter is despite all this planner jargon, not one iota of serious analytical thought has gone into it. This is simply planning by public relations professionals.

You can read the proposed 'Ewa Development Plan and City Bill 065 CD1 for yourself.

Panos offers insight on the Kaka'ako  development situation:

Professor Panos Prevedouros of the UH Civil Engineering Department recently wrote the following:

In the field of transportation planning and engineering we rely on the Trip Generation Manual produced by the Institute of Transportation Engineers headquartered in Washington, D.C. I have the 8th edition issued in 2008.

It says that High Rise Apartments (land use 222) generate 0.30 trips per unit during the peak hour between 7 and 9 AM. The peak period in Kaka'ako is roughly the same. Of these trips, 75% are outbound (leaving the building) and 25% are inbound. Also since the location is central, quite a few of these trips will be on boot, bike or bus. So instead of assuming that 90%-95% of the trips will be by auto, let's assume that 80% of the trips will be by auto.

If 5,000 new units were occupied in Kaka'ako "tomorrow", then there would be: 5,000 x 0.30 x 0.75 x 0.80 = 900 new vehicle trips during the morning peak hour. If you stack all of them on Kapiolani Blvd., this estimate means that an exclusive new lane would be needed just to maintain similar congestion conditions as now. But there is no room for lane additions so the traffic impact will be immense.

This is similar to the situation prevailing today: Because of sewer work, contraflow on Kapiolani was not in effect until past McCully (town-bound from Kaimuki) so it took me three cycles to go past the Kapiolani/Date traffic light. Over five minutes to traverse one major intersection!

As I have frequently mentioned, Honolulu is the most lane deficient city of about one million people in the US (per capita, it is worse than LA, Chicago, etc.) Adding more density will cause the central road network to seize. (It already does when there is rain or a couple of lane closures.)

The establishment supported and thrived with the quick profiteering from the Second City. Second City profit making has subsided due to the lack of road capacity and it will collapse with the mess of 10+ years of rail construction (lane closures.) After destroying the Ewa Plains, and causing major infrastructure liabilities, now it is time for the Establishment to come back and densify Kaka'ako and Kalihi.

This should have been the original plan instead of the Second City. More high rises along with underpasses, underground metro (Waikiki to Airport and perhaps to Aloha Stadium) and new utility lines installed in secondary streets such as Waimanu. If you recall, since 1995 Kapiolani Blvd has been a continuous construction zone. As long as main utilities are under it, this will never stop. Now with the Second City, The Rail and HCDA we are creating a trifecta of (predictable) failures at a time when we can least afford to make mistakes and start new big liabilities.

Town Hall Meeting on the ‘Ewa Development Plan:

The 'Ewa Development Plan used to contain a proviso requiring government officials affirm that the region's road network was sufficient to handle any new development. That has been long ignored. We understand that our political regime is attempting to rescind this proviso.

Dr. Kioni Dudley's group sent us the following message in that regard:

"Find out what your government is planning while you are at work. Come hear experts talk of the Plan’s tremendous impacts on you — on traffic, on less farm-fresh food, and on desalinated water. Take a stand while there is still time.

7:00 – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at Kapolei High School Cafeteria (Kapolei Parkway at Ft. Barrette Rd.)

Come in person or watch it at home! Televised live on ‘Olelo VIEWS Channel 54 or record on DRV

Sponsored by League of Women Voters, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, Save O’ahu Farmlands, Friends of Makakilo, Makawalu and Others

Please forward this to all of your friends in the Leeward area


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