Hawaiʻi is recognized as having the worst driving conditions in America. Honolulu’s traffic congestion is worse than major cites such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
As controversial as the Rail is, it will not, in and of itself, solve Honolulu’s traffic conditions, and things will only get worse. There are many things that must be done to alleviate traffic and driving conditions throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. These include, but are not limited to: fixing bottlenecks, adding more lanes to thoroughfares and adding more streets and arteries to growing areas. Other areas of concern include pavement conditions and rural and urban fatality rates.
We must be proactive, develop comprehensive plans, and be innovative. Ideas and options here include: Respond more rapidly to traffic-blocking accidents and incidents. Develop Traffic Management Centers equipped with television and electronic surveillance or road conditions. Build more roads in growing areas. Use Intelligent Transportation System devices to speed traffic flows. These devices include electronic coordination of signal lights on local streets, large variable signs informing drivers of traffic conditions ahead, one-way street patterns, Global Positioning System equipment in cars and trucks, and radio broadcasts of current road conditions.
Programs to allow employees to modify workings hours to miss peak time traffic. Promote carpooling and consider a visitor car rental tax to improve road and driving conditions. Better planning for developments including work and shopping hubs near homes allowing employees and customers to walk or bike to work. Create more HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes. HOV lanes can be used effectively if there were more lanes built for that purpose, rather than trying to convert existing ones. Merely converting existing lanes would reduce overall road capacity. Better coordinated and comprehensive growth and development plans and strategies that take into account impacts on surrounding traffic conditions especially in rural areas.