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    August 2008
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Candidate Joseph Response to Highway 130 Question

I’ve been taking my time on the Hwy 130 question because it is really a state issue and the state has already made their intentions known to the community on widening the highway.

I would like to see the state take a look at a variety of ways to help the intersection problems, especially for those who live on the Orchidland side of the road. Making that left hand merge in the morning is especially dangerous and something needs to be done ASAP before we have more serious and possible fatal crashes in that area.
Possible solutions include looking at having “roundabouts.” I know they are not popular with local residents but the research shows that they are safer than traffic lights and will have a continuous flow of traffic at all times. The learning/acceptance curve for these new ideas (roundabouts) is three to four weeks. After that I believe we’d see a lot of people say why didn’t we do this years ago?
Build an overpass or underpass is also an option, but may be too costly. Roundabouts can have nearly all of their cost paid for by the federal government.
At present we should be looking at contra flow options to help with the traffic congestion between the peak hours of 4 to 6 pm.
Building an alternative route for emergency vehicles, bicycles and County buses is something we can push for at the county level and something that is long overdue in the Puna Makai area.
Of course having people carpool, take the bus and/or bike to work each day is something that the county should encourage by making those options more available and safe in our everyday lives.

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