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Commentary – Serious Roadway Safety Issues on Highway 11

There are serious roadway safety issues on Highway 11 between Kuakini Highway/Queen Kaahumanu Highway Extension intersection and Hawaii Ocean View Estates. First and foremost, the asphalt pavement is in dire need of being resurfaced for most of this highway. Both the HDOT and Hawaii County are responsible for maintenance, which they’ve done a poor job over the years.

The poor condition of the pavement of pales in comparison to a much larger issue though. There is serious roadway design deficiencies on the Highway 11 between Captain Cook and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. These design deficiencies are amplified by a serious speeding issue  that has resulted in many car accidents and fatalities.

I believe HDOT, and to a lesser degree Hawaii County, need to take action to improve Highway 11. Firstly, both departments need to evaluate the condition of the asphalt pavement, and formulate a multi-year plan to resurface this highway. The HDOT also should evaluate what safety improvements are possible between Captain Cook and Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

There is a lot of sharp turns in between Ho’okena and Miloli’i, a distance of 15 miles, that will require the reconstruction of this segment of Highway 11.  These safety improvements should include an expanded shoulder pull off areas. This will aid the police in enforcing the speed limit, especially since there is a lot of people who drive
like they’re on the Indy 500.

There is a underlying issue to the chronic speeding though. These scofflaws are stuck are in traffic between Henry Street and Kamehameha III Road, so they speed to get home quicker. This why these safety improvements won’t be complete unless the widening of Queen Kaahumanu Highway Extension/Kuakini Highway proceeds.

These safety improvements won’t come cheap. This is why the legislature needs to allocate enough funding to the HDOT, so they can maintain their existing inventory of roads and add capacity.

Aaron Stene

Big Island Police Investigating Mountain View Fatality

An unidentified man died over the weekend from injuries sustained in a one-vehicle crash on Highway 11 at the intersection of North Glenwood Road in Mountain View.

At 10:28 p.m. Friday (August 26), Puna patrol officers observed a Chevrolet two-door sedan with severe damage in a ditch off Highway 11 near North Glenwood Road.


It was determined that the car had been traveling Hilo bound on Highway 11 and had struck a rock retaining wall. The driver, who was the sole occupant, was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

Police believe that speed was a factor. It is unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved.

The man was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was officially pronounced dead at 3:53 a.m. Saturday.

The Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The man’s name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889 or casey.cabral@hawaiicounty.gov.

This is the 16th fatality on Hawaiʻi Island this year compared with 15 at this time last year.

Big Island Police Identify Pedestrian that Was Killed on Highway 11


Police traffic investigators have identified a man who died Wednesday (April 17) from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on Highway 11 in the area of the 18-mile marker in Glenwood.

The victim was identified as 21-year-old Brendan Charlie of a Mountain View address.

Motor Vehicle/Pedestrian Collision on Highway 11 Kills Man

An unidentified man died Wednesday (April 17) from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on Highway 11 in the area of the 18-mile-marker in Glenwood.

HPDBadgeResponding to a 3:06 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that a 55-year-old Hilo man was operating a 2013 Toyota pick-up truck and traveling south on Highway 11 when he struck the male walking on the roadway.  The pedestrian was taken by Fire Rescue personnel to the Hilo Medical Center where he later died at 4:28 a.m.

The driver of the truck was not injured. The pedestrian had no identification and police are asking the public’s help for identification. The man is described as being a Caucasian male, late 20’s to early 30’s in age, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, about 180 pounds, long black hair, beard and mustache.  Police do not suspect that speed, alcohol or drugs were involved. Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

This is the 12th traffic fatality this year compared to 11 at the same time last year.

Big Island Police Identify Man Who Died at Hirano Store Crash

Big Island police have identified the man who died Thursday (October 11) from a two-vehicle crash on Highway 11 in front of Hirano Store as 57-year-old John K. Isabel Jr.

Nasty Wreck Shuts Down Both Lanes of Highway 11 at Glenwood Intersection

I’ve gotten wind that someone may have been decapitated in a nasty wreck that just happened on Highway 11 at the Glenwood intersection.

Traffic is now stopped in both directions. (Photo courtesy of Merle Gornick)

Hawaii Police advises you to AVOID Hwy 11 at 20mm/Glenwood Road Intersection due to a current traffic issue.

A vehicle crash near Hwy 11 at 20mm/Glenwood Road Intersection has closed Hwy 11 in both directions.

Duration of the closure is unknown at this time.

UPDATE: The following has been posted in the Volcano Hui facebook page by Cat Killam:

Just passed a bad two car accident in front of Hirono Store. Looks like someone pulled out and was hit pretty hard. The other car was flipped over. Hope everyone is okay. We all need to be more careful. Ambulances are on the way.

Conflicting information has come in and this post has been adjusted to reflect what happened as I have learned things.  From what I have confirmed… only one person died.

Sunday Cole Slaw… What a Mess!

I was just driving on Highway 11 heading up towards Kurtistown when I came across this mess on the highway.

Cabbage anyone?

Apparently the truck and trailer did not secure their boxes of produce very well and about 8 boxes of produce got tossed on to the Highway.  The cops arrived on the scene about 5 minutes after the incident and quickly cleaned up the road.

What a mess!

New Import Shop on Volcano Highway 11 Opening Friday

Volcano Hwy11 Emporium

A new “Import” type shop is having it’s Grand Opening on Friday along the Volcano Highway.

Old Siam

Owners Tommy and Brenda Carson informed me that the new shop is a combination between “Old Siam Imports” and the Volcano Imporium.

The remodled house on the side of the Highway has plenty of parking in front as well as in back.

Old Siam

Inside the shop you will find lots of cool stuff…


The stuff comes from all over the world…


The prices were also pretty good on most of the stuff…


The business card mentions that they specialize in Treasures of Thailand and Beyond…


I can see this spot becoming a real popular spot for tourists on the way up or down to see Volcanoes National Park.


So check out their Grand Opening this Friday.


They are located off Highway 11 just below the Hilo Coffee Mill.

You can also reach the business at P.O. Box 1120, Volcano, HI 96785 or by phone at 808-985-7377.