Ishikawa said that the DOT has made a number
of short term solutions and is working on more. For example,
the zipper lane, which is used by about 5,000 cars daily, has
provided some relief.
Other short term measures to improve rush hour traffic flow are
already in place. A contra-flow lane on Nimitz Highway has sped
up morning traffic. Widening the H-1 is expected to relieve the
H-1/H-2 “double bottle- neck” that slows Ewa-bound
traffic in the afternoon.
Other plans that have not begun include widening Fort Weaver
Road, Ishikawa said, and building a north-south road out of Ewa.
Motorists have few alternatives to driving their personal vehicles:
riding The Bus, which takes more than an hour; the city-run van
pool; or car pooling. Long term solutions, Ishikawa said, are
going to be very expensive, and they are going to take time.
Building a light rail system, for example, would take up to
10 years to complete--after legislation is passed and the
A factor that the DOT and the community must consider is the
impact that building new roads or a light rail system will have
on the environment and the community
itself. For example, the city had to purchase the homes of some Aiea-Pearl City
residents in the area before the H-1 widening project could continue.
The feelings of the Hawaiian community must be considered also.
Protests from them over the disturbance of newly discovered
ancient burial grounds have interrupted
many construction projects in recent years.
Some other long term ideas that have been proposed are building
an H-4 freeway, which would cost half a billion dollars and
which would run from Kunia Road through
the Waianae mountain range to Makaha. Ishikawa said a “back-door road” from
Nanakuli is also being considered, so residents in that area can get out if there
is an emergency situation that blocks the existing road.