Summary of Highway 130 Meeting – Statements from HDOT Officials and Community Response (Day 2)

PURPOSE:

• 1) Provide technical discussion on various elements; 2) Screen reasonable set of alternatives from the “Universe of Alternatives” for the project; and 3) Prepare for Public Informational Meeting.


SUMMARY OF MEETING:
I. Welcome and Remarks – Jiro Sumada, Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Deputy Director Mr. Sumada opened the meeting. He emphasized that the budget is not locked in stone and that the Keaau-Pahoa Road Improvement’s project will be competing with other projects. Practicalities must be accepted; furthermore, the community will be setting the priorities.

Mr. Robert Taira addressed the issue of the Puna Makai Alternate Route (PMAR). It was stated that HDOT supports the PMAR. It was noted that this project will not be a typical project, and the Environmental Impact Statement will be complex. It is possible the project will take twenty years due to objections by stakeholder. The PMAR is looked at as a long-term solution that will be addressed by the County of Hawaii while the Keaau-Pahoa Road Improvements project will be a mid-term project addressed by HDOT.


Mr. Ken Tatsuguchi followed up on the suggestion of replenishing KPAG Members. At this time, the KPAG has good forward momentum. Replacing KPAG Members will be considered after the Public Informational Meeting.

The following representatives of the project team were present:

Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation (HDOT) – Ken Tatsuguchi, Nelson Sagum, and Dina Lau with the Planning Branch; Robert Taira from the Hawaii District Office; and Peter Chan with the Traffic Branch;
SSFM International, Inc. – Cheryl Soon, Robin Barnes, Austen Drake, Heather Forester, Jo-Anna Herkes, and Genevieve Runningwind; Learning Unlimited – Facilitators Barbara Lively and Diane Gentry; and Geometrician Associates – Ron Terry.

The following members were present:
Larry Brown County of Hawaii Project Manager for PRCP and PCDP
Fred Blas Resident of Pahoa
Susan Cordell Hawaiian Paradise Park Resident
Oliver English W.H. Shipman, Limited
Neil Erickson Architect, Planner, Community Service Member, and Cyclist
Dina Lau HDOT
Keith Lawrence Sitting in for Frank Lawrence
Manny Mattos Resident & Retired Police Officer
Council Member, District 5
Jon Olson Puna Traffic Safety Committee & PCDP Chairman & Sierra Club
Big Island Chapter, Moku Loa Group
Wesley Owens VP of Orchidland Association and Cyclist
Jennifer Perry Resident of Kapoho and Produce and Flower Transporter
Nelson Sagum HDOT
Elizabeth Salfen PCDP Community Liaison & PMAR Working Committee; and
Weed and Seed
Damon Tucker Friends of Puna’s Future

Absent Members included: Faye Hanohano and Emily Naeole.

Members that have resigned include: Kehaulani Costa, Bill Davis, Lorraine Godoy, Malcolm Saxby, and Roy Takemoto.

Friends of the Advisory Group and public participants in attendance included: Francis Malawi, Gail Clarke, Bobby Lee Jr., Kimo Lee, Frankie Stapleton, Elizabeth Weatherford, and Tim Rees.

II. KPAG Meeting #4 Day One Re-cap – Cheryl Soon, SSFM International, Inc. Project Manager Ms. Soon announced the results of the Purpose and Need priority voting (Attachment 1). The KPAG has agreed that the Purpose and Need statement is in accordance with what has been discussed at previous meetings; 15 yes, 0 no, and 1 abstained. Minor revisions
were made based on comments received before the voting (Attachment 2).
A map displaying the Puna Makai Alternate Route (PMAR) was sent out in the mailer was replaced with a more accurate version developed by the County of Hawaii for the Puna Makai Alternate Route (Attachment 3). The steps for creating a transportation project were discussed (Attachment 4). It was noted that the PMAR would not likely be built in 10 years, could be built in 20 years, and probably would take 30 years.

III. Traffic Forecasts and Level of Service (LOS) – Cheryl Soon, SSFM International, Inc. Project Manager The Level of Service (LOS) diagrams were explained (No attachment – LOS diagram will be revised and redistributed based on an inconsistency in the data). Each diagram shows a
two lane highway with no improvements, except the shoulder lane conversion project.

LOS of E or F signifies that something needs to be done with the road section. Once a set of reasonable alternatives has been determined, LOS can be calculated for each of those as well.

IV. Current Accident Data – Dina Lau and Peter Chan, HDOT

Accident data was presented to the KPAG (Attachment 5). The accident data was derived by police reports of accidents occurring within 75 feet of an intersection. It was noted that accident rates rise with an increase in traffic. Other patterns can be looked at to create an accident reconstruction. Factors such as design, driver, vehicle, and weather can influence an accident. Intersections with higher numbers of accidents should be focused
on.

The KPAG asked when the Quick Fix Task Force will be implementing the proposed strategies.

It was stated that the strategies will be implemented beginning in January.
V. Design Guidelines – Robin Barnes and Austen Drake, SSFM International, Inc.
An overview of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Green Book Standards were given (Attachment 6). The standards described apply to all states.

VI. Screening for a Reasonable Set of Alternatives from the Universe – Breakout Groups The KPAG was divided into 3 groups to discuss alternatives for the project.

Each group reported back with their findings (Attachment 7).

VII. Questions and Comment: Open to all Attendees

The following questions were received:


A. Gail Clarke of Pahoa asked, “What is the process to get signage to slow traffic during school day peaks at this intersection? What about crosswalks?

RESPONSE: HDOT requested further information be sent to the Hawaii
District Office.

B. Elizabeth Weatherford of Hawaiian Paradise Park asked, “What is cost in dollars of roundabout vs. cost of signalized intersection. (Please provide information to allow for some understanding of ANNUAL or MONTHLY COST of electricity service to signal.)

RESPONSE: This question is off topic and will not be addressed at this
time.

C. Elizabeth Weatherford of Hawaiian Paradise Park asked, “Regarding Alternate Routes Page – blue banner PEAR!!…floodplain “will require bridge and culverts.” ARE dry wells used, can they be used to address flooding, higher up the watershed?”

RESPONSE: This question is off topic and will not be addressed at this
time.

D. Frankie Stapleton of Nanawale Estates asked, “Where is the representation on this panel of the low income people of lower Puna who have NO motorized vehicles, grandparents raising a passel of youngsters and no dependable vehicles, who can’t…? Is there anyone on the KPAG who does not drive a car or bike?”


RESPONSE: The KPAG is addressing the needs of people in this group.


E. Elizabeth Weatherford of Hawaiian Paradise Park asked, “Will bus shelters be placed near safety-improved intersections such that transit riders will be able to cross road safely?”

RESPONSE: Yes

For more info on the project, click here

One Response

  1. We have been trying to get information since 1999 on what roads are going to be eminent domained next. Moho road has bankrupted our road corporation: the only money spent there is for the intersections of your highway. Since over 2500 people here voted against this why would you continue this plan? Larry Brown is conflict of interest.. This highway prject is for HPP only. We voted for Railroad to be a highway. Why isn’t this done.? There is no EIS done for Moho. How much are you paying HA by the mile?
    When are you going to buy out the residents within two miles, and how?Why haven’t you informed district 6 or Hawaiian Acres of the new plan of 4 major artery’s through HA instead of the connectivity through Fern acres , eden rock and fern forest. Why can’t we download or read any of this on our computers? Why is the public television not available to anyone li ving here. When were you going to notify anybody? We need to let everyone here know what jon olson has done. thank you immediate reply needed for highway meeting today. thanks

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