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2001 Meeting Highlights

December Meeting Highlights

The December luncheon meeting was held on December 19, 2001 at the Department of Transportation building in Kapolei. President Wayne Kawano reported that Engineers Week would be the week of February 17-23 during which displays would be shown at Kahala Mall. Matt Alonzo, student chapter president, reported that the student chapter would be meeting soon to discuss ITE’s display that would be based upon the display from last year.

The featured speaker was Michael Schlei from ACS State and Local Solutions. Mr. Schlei opened his presentation regarding the new Photo Red Light and Photo Speed Enforcement Demonstration Project by introducing Bob Kane, who will manage the project for ACS, and Doug Carlson, who is managing the project’s community education program.

The demonstration project will run for three years and its purpose is to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by automobile accidents. In order to accomplish this, ACS has been given the same authority as the Honolulu Police Department to enforce speeding and red light running.

The project will be implemented in three phases: Phase 1 involves the activation of photo red light enforcement at 10 intersections and 15 photo speed enforcement routes on Oahu. Phase 2 involves the activation of photo red light enforcement at 15 additional intersections and 10 additional photo speed enforcement routes on Oahu. Phase 3 involves the activation of photo red light enforcement at up to 25 intersections and a number of photo speed enforcement routes on the neighbor islands.

The project utilizes a registered owner liability program where no photos are taken of the driver and the registered owner of the vehicle will be held accountable for any violations. All recorded violations are reviewed for image quality, verified twice utilizing the DMV database, and reviewed by HDOT before a citation is issued.

All citations are mailed within three days of the violation. On average, about 30% of the violations recorded are discarded due to problems such as poor image quality or an inability to find the registered owner.

Phase 1 of the program was initiated on December 3, 2001 and ACS is currently only issuing warnings so that motorists have time to adjust to the new systems. Starting January 2, they will begin issuing citations.

More information regarding the Photo Red Light and Photo Speed Enforcement Demonstration Project is available at the State DOT’s website. (www.state.hi.us/dot/publicaffairs/photoenforcement/index.htm)
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November Meeting Highlights

The November luncheon meeting was held on November 15, 2001 at the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building in Honolulu. President Wayne Kawano reported that the HCES Wiliki newsletter website was up and the Engineers Week would be the week of February 17 next year. The chapter is responsible for arranging the exhibits for Engineers Week with the assistance of the student chapter. In addition, President Kawano announced that the dues for the Hawaii Section had not been raised and that all members should be receiving their renewal notices soon.

The featured speaker was Dr. Panos Prevedouros from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Prevedouros explained that his project involved the closure of the Bingham Street off-ramp of the H-1 Freeway from 9/25/00 to 11/30/00 and the resulting impacts.

The study measured six factors to assess the impact of the off-ramp closure which included traffic volumes, speed, queues, travel times, accident reports, and and neighbor and motorist perceptions. The comparison of pre- and post-closure conditions highlighted a number of interesting results.

Traffic volume comparisons indicated that a large number of motorists had altered their travel pattern to utilize the Punahou Street off-ramp located right before the Bingham Street off-ramp. This resulted in a lower number of vehicles on the H-1 Freeway between the two off-ramps which was not a desired effect since that section of the freeway is already under utilized.

Speed comparisons indicated a decrease in speed along Bingham Street. However, the speeds measured could also have been affected by an on-going construction project by the Board of Water Supply in the same area as well as motorists who continued to stop at the Bingham Street off-ramp intersection although the stop sign had been covered.

Queues comparisons indicated a dramatic increase in the queue lengths at the surrounding off-ramps.

Travel time comparisons indicated that travel times along the chosen routes sometimes doubled.

Accident report comparisons indicated that the increased queue lengths resulted in a higher accident rate.

The conclusions of the study were that there were no positive outcomes of the closure and that the surveys indicated that the surrounding community was divided about whether or not the closure was necessary. The study also provided several recommendations. For the short-term, the study recommended traffic calming and speed enforcement in the Bingham Street neighborhood. For the long-term, the study recommended the relocation of the off-ramp to bypass the Bingham Street neighborhood.
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October Meeting Highlights

The October luncheon meeting was held on October 22nd at the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building in Honolulu. President Wayne Kawano introduced the new 2001-2002 officers and committee chairs. He then reported that he had attended the recent Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting where they discussed the Leeward Oahu Transportation Management Association and the Statewide Bike Plan.

The featured speaker was Gordon Lum, the Executive Director of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO).

Mr. Lum opened his presentation with a brief background description of OMPO and the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). He then went on to discuss the FY 2002-2004 Transportation Improvement Plan endorsed by OMPO’s policy committee on September 19, 2001.

Mr. Lum brought up several issues that the policy committee had grappled with before endorsing the TIP. The first issue pertained to how the State’s federal funds should be distributed between the four counties. In FY 2002, the State of Hawaii will receive $100M in federal funds ($60M in highway funds, $40M in transit funds). The committee debated whether the distribution of those funds should be based upon population, basis of need, or some other measure.

The second issue pertained to the Primary Corridor Transportation Project. The committee was in general support of the project, but several of the members still had some concerns regarding its implementation.

The third issue pertained to the Nimitz Highway Improvement Project: Keehi IC to Pacific Street. The committee had some difficulty with the phrasing of the project scope in the TIP.

In addition, Mr. Lum mentioned a few of the other projects in the FY 2002-2004 TIP which included the Farrington Highway Improvements: Nanakuli to Makalena ($4.5M), the Freeway Management System ($7.5M), and the Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline Project ($4.02M).
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August Meeting

The ITE Hawaii Section Annual Meeting was held on August 30, 2001 at the University of Hawaii. The Hawaii Section President, Pete Pascua, opened the meeting by presenting awards to all of the 2001 officers and committee chairpersons.

Mr. Pascua then introduced our guest speaker, Mr. Tim Harpst who is the District 6 International Director of ITE. We were fortunate to have Mr. Harpst discuss the 2001and 2002 emphasis areas of ITE which include the following:

  • Management and Operations of Transportation Systems (coordination between agencies)
  • Transportation Safety (red light running, and road safety audits)
  • Transportation in a Societal Context (working with the public)
  • Publications and Reports (webpage www.ite.org, MUTCD Millenium Edition, HCM 2000, Speed Zones, Alternate Treatments at At-grade Pedestrian Crossing, TOC Manual, Geometric Design Handbook)
  • Professional Licenses(Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, Traffic Operations Practitioner, and Transportation Planner)

The 2002 election results were announced. Mr. Harpst conducted the ceremony to install the 2002 officers for the Hawaii Section. The following are the newly elected officers:

  • President: Wayne Kawano
  • Vice-President: Vice-President
  • Secretary: Cathy Leong
  • Treasurer: Susan Uejo

The meeting was concluded with the announcement that the next meeting will be held in October and that ideas for future speakers are requested.
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July Meeting

The ITE Hawaii Section monthly meeting was held on July 19, 2001. The meeting was opened with an announcement that Hawaii’s proposal to host the District 6 meeting in 2006 was approved with great excitement.

Our guest speaker was Jan Yokota, a planner with the Kakaako Development Agency. She presented the current master plan for the redevelopment of Kakaako.

The vision for the Kakaako area is an in-town community designed and constructed using a public-private partnership. The government provides the infrastructure including roads, sewer, water, and electricity. They will also relocate existing businesses to prepare for the redevelopment. The private industry constructs the attractions to bring the local residents and visitors to the area.

Attractions include the construction of the Kakaako Park, a continuation of the bicycle and pedestrian path from Ala Moana Park, a Science Learning Center, funded by Bishop Museum, moving the Aquarium from Waikiki, retail stores along Kewalo Basin, and construction of the University of Hawaii, Bio-medical Research Center.

It is expected that in 5 years the area will be totally transformed.
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June Meeting

On June 26, 2001, the ITE Hawaii Section met at the Hawaii Department of Transportation, Kapolei office.

Mr. Wayne Kawano announced that the Hawaii chapter has submitted a proposal to host the annual ITE district meeting in 2006. He also announced that the ballots were sent out for the new officers for 2002. Please vote and mail back ballots by August 10th.

Our guest speaker was Mr. George Stewart, Chairman of CCPI Paving Committee, who made a presentation on Ultra Thin Whitetopping (UTW) which is being used increasingly nationwide as an alternative to rehabilitation of our roads, airports, etc. UTW is a thin layer, 4″ or less, of high performance fibrous concrete that is placed over a milled existing asphalt surface. This method economically enhances the durability of the pavement for a long-term solution rather than a quick fix. Ideally, a full concrete slab replacement would be preferred wherever feasibly possible for an even a longer-term solution. However, UTW can be designed to open the road to traffic within 24 hours with an approximate flexural strength of 546 psi and a compressive strength of 3560 psi.

The next ITE meeting is scheduled for July 19th at 11:45am at the Federal Building Room 8-120. The guest speaker will be Jan Yokota from the Kaka’ako Community Development. She will be presenting an update on the transportation related matters, i.e bikeways, pedestrian ways, roads, etc.

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May Meeting

On May 29, 2001 the ITE Hawaii Section was fortunate to have as our guest speaker Mr. Brian Minaai, Director for the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Mr. Minaai is responsible for three divisions: Harbors, Highways, and Airports.

Mr. Minaai briefed the Hawaii Section on the State of Hawaii’s efforts to comply with the General Accounting Standards Board 34 (GASB 34). GASB 34 requires state and local governments to begin reporting the value of their infrastructure assets, including roads, bridges, water and sewer facilities, and dams, in their annual financial report on an accrual accounting basis.

Why the change? Traditionally, state and local governmental agencies have used cash accounting. GASB 34 has the potential to make the State of Hawaii’s overall financial condition more comprehensible to the public, investors, creditors, and the agencies themselves.

What are the benefits? GASBY 34 will assist the HDOT in approaching their infrastructure projects systematically and in a timely manner.
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April Meeting

On April 12, 2001 the ITE Hawaii Section was fortunate to have as our guest speaker Mr. Jiro Sumada, Deputy Chief Engineer with the Department of Public Works, County of Hawaii. His topic was titled Lessons Learned as Deputy Chief Engineer. He covered 5 topics: Interview Questions for Promotion; Qualities of Leadership; Defining a Professional; Attitudes under Pressure; Positive Communications.

The first topic, Interview Question for Promotion. As Deputy Engineer he hired a couple hundred employees during his term. He learned that the questions asked during an interview need to be asked in a way that shows the talents of the person. What are your most significant achievements? How do you handle criticism? What are your weaknesses? Also during the interview it is important to ask examples of how they handled situations that may come up during the course of their work.

The second topic, Qualities of Leadership. He asked the questions, what makes a good boss and what makes a good worker. All the qualities that are listed are components of a good leader.

The third topic, Defining a Professional. According to NSPE “Engineering is an important and learned profession. As member of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. …Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.”

The fourth topic, Attitudes under Pressure. People act under pressure in basically 5 ways: Defiance, Wait & See, Warn & Walk Away, Advise & Assist, Make Problems Disappear. He stated that as Deputy Engineer, the only time he spoke to his engineer’s were when there was a problem or complaint. He would base his opinion of that person on the way they handled maybe 5 cases a year. A majority of the engineer’s in the DPW fit in the Warn & Walk Away and Advise & Assist category. Those that are in the Make a Problem Disappear category are well liked by managers. While, those in the defiance category are usually sores in the department and are eventually found other jobs that best fit their talents. However, is this right? He never got to see how the engineer solves other problems, that never get his attention.

The fifth topic, Positive Communications. It is important to understand that people respond to body language 55% of the time. Also, listening is a skill. Some people listen for key words that will help them to reject or debate the idea. Problems will not be solved this way. Listening should be doe with learning as the goal. Learn about the person, about the situation, about the reasons behind the request, and about the motivations.

Now that he has been educated in the 5 topics listed above, if he could start all over again, he would:

Catch staff doing good things, instead of staying in his office.
Ask for help, instead of directing work.
Listen more & talk less.
He now understands that everybody is different and everybody needs to be treated differently. He would take the time to understand the person he is talking to.

Only, after understanding the way a person thinks and reacts will a person be a able to communicate effectively.
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March Meeting

On March 5, Mr. Pete Pascua announced that ITE Hawaii Section won the first place award for the National Engineer’s Week display contest.
Our guest speaker was Mr. Nazir Lalani, the ITE Pedestrian/Bicycle Task Force Chair. He gave an overview of an ITE Informational Report entitled Alternative Treatments for At-Grade Pedestrian Crossings.

The publication separates the alternative treatments by the following categories:

  • Major Street Uncontrolled Crossings
  • Residential Street Crossings
  • Signal Controlled Crossings for Pedestrians
  • Signalize Intersection Crossings
  • School-Related Crossings

The publication shows examples of alternative treatments from countries including the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. The information on each treatment includes a description, objective, cost, applications, advantages, disadvantages, and sites. Some alternative treatments include flashing beacons, tactile surfaces, half signals, and curb extensions which are pretty easy to predict what the treatment consists of. Other treatments listed include the pelican, puffin, toucan, and hawk, which are treatments for intersections that requires some explanation.

The informational report is in final review and is scheduled for publication and release in August of 2001.
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February Meeting

On February 22, the ITE Hawaii Section was briefed by Wayne Yoshioka of the various transportation related bills, before the House and the Senate. Some of the bills mentioned are the transfer of HDOT responsibilities to the Counties, incentives for electric vehicles, pedestrians bill of rights, helmet requirements for children under 16 riding a scooter or skateboard and mandatory use of booster seats for children under 8 years old.

The guest speaker was Mr. Rock Miller, the President of ITE District 6 shared the results of a study recently completed by the North Carolina DOT regarding pedestrian safety in marked crosswalks. Surprisingly the results were similar to that conducted by Mr. Miller in California. In the early 70’s a San Diego study stated that pedestrians are more likely to be hit at marked crosswalks at non-signalized intersections. From this study sprung many more studies that have caused many cities to remove mid-block crosswalks. Mr. Miller’s study conducted in the City of Santa Anna and the North Carolina DOT study was hired by the City of Santa Anna to perform a crosswalk safety study of their city.

The report concluded that 1) there was no significant difference in safety for two lane streets whether the crosswalks were marked or unmarked; 2) for streets under 12,000 vehicles/day there is no difference in accident risks; 3) for streets greater than 12,000 vehicles/day ( the California study used 16,000 vehicles/day) there is more risk of accidents in unmarked crosswalks; 4) for streets with multiple lanes, there is a high risk of accidents.

Solutions shared were 1) raised median barriers; 2) use signals and stop signs; 3) pedestrian crosswalk warrants; 4) traffic calming; 5) installing activated warning signals; 6) improve crosswalk marking techniques/designs.

Mr. Miller also mentioned that the first phase study on the Honolulu Signal Timing project is near complete. The second phase will be under way shortly. He noted that Honolulu has probably the most severe traffic conditions of 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles commuting to downtown every day.
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January Meeting

The Hawaii section of ITE kicked off the Year of the Snake at their January 17th luncheon meeting at the YWCA Richards St. in Honolulu. The featured speaker was Gordon Lum, the Executive Director of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO).

President Pete Pascua opened the meeting with introductions. The first order of business was a discussion on a resolution by the OMPO Citizen Advisory Committee to urge the OMPO Policy Committee to consider a planning process on a secondary access road mauka of Farrington Hwy in Waianae District. After much discussion, Clyde Shimizu was given authorization to support the resolution. Secondly, reported that during Engineering Week, February 16th to 23rd, a display board will be shown at Kahala Mall. Final order of business, Treasurer Fred Smoot reported an account balance of $3,066.87 as of 1/16/01.

Vice President Wayne Kawano introduced the featured speaker, Gordon Lum. Mr. Lum opened his presentation with a brief description of OMPO and the composition of the Policy Committee, consisting of 13 members – 5 city council members; 6 state legislatures; DOT director, DTS director. He then explained the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (ORTP), a long range vision of what projects, strategies, and policies for Oahu’s future., a 20-25 year horizon. It was last updated in November, 1995, and therefore imperative that it updated this year. Federal funding requires consistency with ORTP. Mr. Lum discussed the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and how it fits in the Major Investment Study (MIS) concept. In 1995, ORTP identified a need for rail transit MIS. The City undertook MIS/DEIS effort under the Trans2K. BRT was selected by the City as locally preferred alternative. BRT must be included in Endorsed 2025 ORTP to be eligible for federal funding. Mr. Lum also shared some important issues facing ORTP, i.e.. dealing with projects of interest, conflicting public support, future traffic congestion vs. community desire to “keep the country”, and funding priorities.