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Roundabouts… Give Me an Argument for Them

Much mention has been made to putting Roundabouts on H-130. As I think about Roundabouts on Highway 130, I wonder… do people think they are feasible on H-130?

I do see where they could work on some of the side roads.

With the light restrictions imposed because of the telescopes up on Mauna Kea… I see these as a possible lawsuit in the making. They just won’t be that visible at night time.

I’m still learning things and I’d like input on Roundabouts and the feasibility of them for the pending H-130 project.

One Response

  1. I grew up in countries with roundabouts and I totally agree that they are an efficient way of brokering right-of-way. I am a bit scared about introducing them to a population that has no experience with them. For example, in places that have roundabouts, much emphasis on them is spent in driver’s ed and in the driving test. They don’t expect you to just hop into a car and tackle one.

    On Hwy 130, ideal roundabout points are the Hilo/Keaau/Pahoa (near Humane society) junction and the Pahoa/Malama/Kahakai junction. This is because I roundabouts tend to be most efficient when joining roads where there’s lots of divergent traffic. For example, if you look at a t-junction like Kaloli Dr, a car either wants to stay on the Hwy or go in/out of Kaloli. A traffic light (or simple stop sign) is not too bad in such a case. Whereas if you look at the Malama junction, there are many possibilities – stay on Hwy, market onto/out of highway, market onto/out of Kahakai, Kahakai into/out of Hwy, Pahoa into/out of Hwy etc. This is where roundabouts win hands down because the cars essentially regulate their own path and flow.

    But like I said, it’s a skill that needs to be learned. Having lived in Hawaii for so many years, I get nervous driving in places with roundabouts now – and I was trained on them.

    The one change I really would like to see on Hwy 130 that is relatively easy to make would be to only have one light (not two) onto the Keaau/Pahoa road and to up the limit to 55 from HPP all the way to the credit union traffic light. It seems crazy to be going 55 on a 2-lane road only to slow down to 45 on a beautiful new wide 4 lane broad shoulder bypass.

    And much as it is unpopular, the Hwy needs to be widened until at least past HPP. Shedding more traffic before the merge will obviously lower the pain.

    PS. Not sure the light restrictions would be a problem particularly – the lights allowed for roadway lighting (Class II in the code) seem to me to be perfectly adequate.

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