Like I Said Earlier: Contra-Flow 0… Shoulder Lane 1

I’m not sure what the big fuss is about with this latest announcement that Contra-Flows aren’t going to fly… at least right now.  It really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Back in September, I blogged about the State quick-fix project to use the shoulder lane.   The State told us then that Contra-flowing was not going to be possible.

Of note something that will be happening soon. The Shoulder lane that is used in the mornings from 6-8 AM are going to be opened up for 24 hour usage

In today’s Hawaii Tribune, it talks about how Councilwoman Naeole is now thinking twice about the meeting:

…”We can’t seem to get the state people to come,” she (Naeole) said of Department of Transportation administrators. “No sense we have the meeting, and they not there…”

What I don’t understand, is that Emily has known about the quick-fix shoulder project for quite some time as she is a member of the KPAG group.

At the last meeting in front of the State people, she mentioned this resolution to have a contra-flow, however, the State people just kind of blew her off like nothing was going to be done with the resolution.

We have met at least 5 times now with “State Officials” regarding the H-130 traffic.

Why is the STATE not listening to are needs?  Our own council lady is making resolutions that won’t even be heard by State Reps.

That’s ok… at least I know I wasn’t hearing things wrong 5 months ago.  It is a bit of waste of money attempting to do things that you already know aren’t going to work in the long run.

“Morioka said the DOT plans to convert the morning shoulder lane into a permanent lane and widen the road to create a Pahoa-bound shoulder lane for use during evening rush hour.”

Is anyone listening to what I previously stated on my blog?… Once again back in September I said:

Of note something that will be happening soon. The Shoulder lane that is used in the mornings from 6-8 AM are going to be opened up for 24 hour usage

Folks… we just have to get used to the STATE over riding most of what we want at county level.

4 Responses

  1. Thers a problem with the width of the bridge at the ag lots on 130. Four lanes will not fit, and that would be a major rebuild. Open up 40 st through Orchidland Estates , it on the Puna CDP as a connector road going from Ainaloa Blvd through to Keaau town. Also 37 st Orchidland allready connects to Ainaloa punch it through to Keaau town . Shipman owns the land and theres little development on it. In a big earthquake the power poles on 130 are going to trap a lot of people Puna side.

  2. I think I have a problem trying to imagine how a contraflow system would work at the bypass. I’m not saying it won’t work, I just don’t see how it’ll be done.

    Happy to take this to email if you’d prefer (I think you have my email address, I’ll send it if not), I’m busy for the next week or so and then on vacation for a while so won’t be checking comments all that often.

    The great thing about being on vacation is that I’ll be able to avoid the frustration of the Keaau bottleneck for a few weeks. That’ll definitely bring the blood pressure down for a while.


  3. I understand a bit better now. Don’t get me wrong, the situation is bad in the morning and evening, but my opinion is that the evening is much worse, people are pissed off, especially with selfish or clueless drivers at the bottleneck at Keaau, and at some point something nasty is going to happen there. Whether it’s a multi-vehicle accident or someone venting with a gun, I don’t know, but it can get bad there in the evening.

    I’ve experienced contraflow systems in the UK and they worked, but I do worry about some Puna drivers coping with such a system. In my opinion, and believe me, it really is just my opinion, opening the shoulder is a better short term option. Then again, it does require some engineering and construction, so maybe it isn’t a short term option after all.


    Damon – yes it is frustrating. Check out this earlier blog I posted asking for assistance from the community so that we all could make a statement.

    I also ran an Intersection Poll for awhile that I have taken down.

    Just to let you know that I have sought input from others before making my decisions in the KPAG meetings.

    I do feel that I have some idea of the problem and I do think contraflows would be a good temporary solution.

  4. Damon, I’ve re-read your post over and over and can’t quite figure out the point you’re trying to make. If it’s just general frustration about the traffic situation in Puna then fine, but you’re concentrating on the morning commute.

    My own experience is that the commute in the morning is OK – I’ve lived in a few different places and it’s nothing compared to big cities. It’s not great, but opening the shoulder works relatively well between 6 and 8am and I don’t see much advantage in making it a 24-hour thing. It’s the drive back in the evening that frustrates most people with the bottleneck at Keaau which often leads to a fair amount of road rage. Making the shoulder available on the Mauka side, which will involve some work, obviously, would help enormously, at least in the short term.

    I’m having difficulty understanding your position unless it’s just a moan about the general situation, which is justified on its own of course.

    As for my own moan, driver education leaves a lot to be desired on the island. I’m saying that after 1) people not understanding how a zipper lane works and 2) watching some moron attempt to kill several motorists by driving 70 mph on the shoulder and then re-entering the road at the Keaau transfer station causing everyone to step on their brakes. If people could understand that selfish driving delays everyone else (and ultimately themselves) and modify their behaviour appropriately, we’d all be better off.


    Damon – Your correct Tom. I am a bit frustrated over the whole process of this H-130 Highway project right now. However, I do feel traffic is a problem at Peak times both AM and PM.

    When our KPAG group started about 6 months ago… I said something needs to be done NOW… I didn’t want to wait years to have things done. After living on Oahu for more then the past decade… I know that contra-flowing can work at a relatively cheap cost that could be done in a matter of a few weeks of planning.

    It frustrates me that the State is not listening to Naeole or releasing funds for at least a “pilot project” of contra-flowing.

    I also feel like the State is using members of the KPAG group just to push through whatever they want… and not the communities concerns.

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