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2004 Meeting Highlights

October Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Meeting was held on October 21, 2004 at R.M. Towill Corporation. President Wayne Yoshioka introduced the featured speaker, Dr. Panos Prevedouros. Dr. Prevedouros is a professor at the University of Hawaii and has been studying and modeling Oahu’s traffic. Dr. Prevedouros’s presentation was titled Improving Commuting on Oahu: Suggestions for Freeways, Arterials, and Public Transit. Dr. Prevedouros began with some background on the topic of congestion. He then offered some immediate actions that could alleviate congestion at various locations in Hawaii. He cited adding an additional lane on the H-1 freeway under Kalihi Street, contra-flowing Dillingham, closing Lunalilo on-ramp during peak traffic, creating an afternoon/evening zipper lane to Central and Leeward Oahu, shifting the start times of large schools, and increasing the use of the 4-10 work week as “quick” fixes.

Dr. Prevedouros also spoke about larger solutions such as the use of rail. He highlighted guideway buses. Dr. Prevedouros explained such buses are used in Germany and easily convert from guideway systems to streets. He also presented the idea of urban grade separations at intersections such as Kapiolani/Kalakaua and Vineyard/Punchbowl. He also touched on the idea of paying a toll to use a designated lane during peak travel times.

Dr. Prevedouros closed by stating that people will continue to seek ways to maintain private transportation. People value the flexibility and convenience that private transportation allows. Thus other congestion management solutions are being developed such as smart cars, smaller cars, car sharing, and increasing urban density in the core of Honolulu.

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September Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Meeting was held on September 21, 2004 at Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Inc. President Wayne Yoshioka identified all Executive Board members and committee chairpersons. Wayne noted that a chairperson is needed for the Engineering Week display committee.

The Local Arrangement Committee (LAC) is working on District 6 Annual Conference. Hawaii will be hosting this conference in June 2006. Information about the conference can be found on the ITE Hawaii website.

Wayne then introduced the featured speaker, Ms. Pat Noyes. Ms. Noyes is an International Director for ITE District 6. Her company, Pat Noyes and Associates, specializes in incident management, traffic calming, and public participation. Ms. Noyes installed the 2004-2005 officers. Then she spoke about emphasis areas for ITE in 2004. Ms. Noyes identified intersection safety, continuing education, public awareness and traffic signal design for system users as focus areas for the year. Ms. Noyes shared information about the workforce development program, and four professional development modules available on compact discs. She explained initiatives for intersection safety and the new mentoring program. She asked section members to send in their 2004 constitutional amendments, update their personal ITE info, and participate in the traffic signal self-assessment. Ms. Noyes closed by identifying the upcoming District 6 annual meeting locations. They are as follows: 2005 Kalispell, 2006 Hawaii, 2007 Portland, 2008 Anaheim, 2009 Denver.

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Annual Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Annual Meeting was held on August 17, 2004 at the Wisteria Restaurant in Honolulu. President Cathy Leong presented Certificates of Appreciation to the outgoing officers and committee chairs. Tellers Robert Miyasaki and Panos Prevedouros announced that based upon a tally of the votes received for the 2004-2005 elections, the following were elected as the incoming officers:

Wayne Yoshioka, President
Greg Hiyakumoto, Vice President
Jodi Chew, Secretary
Robert Nehmad, Treasurer

The featured speaker was Abe Wong, Hawaii Division Administrator for the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA). Mr. Wong explained that there were three factors that were critical to the success of FHWA’s program: money, stewardship, and partnership. With regards to money, FHWA is a $30 billion program nationwide, of which, Hawaii has traditionally received approximately $120 million per year. Currently, the FHWA program is in a transition period since their previous six-year authorization, TEA-21, expired last year. Since then, they have had several extensions to bridge the gap until their reauthorization. However, the Senate and the House have not yet agreed upon a reauthorization budget amount and their current proposals, SAFETEA in the Senate for $324 billion over the next six years and TEALU in the House for $275 billion over the next six years, exceed the budget that the Administration is willing to approve ($256 billion). With regards to stewardship, Mr. Wong stated that FHWA needs assess how well they are spending their money, what value they are receiving for their money, how well they are meeting the public’s needs, and how their progress should be judged. With regards to partnership, although FHWA originally partnered only with the Department of Transportation (DOT), they have been partnering with more diverse groups in recent years (Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health, interest groups, etc.). Mr. Wong then spoke about safety and ITS and how these two topics relate to the three aforementioned factors.

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July Meeting Summary

The July luncheon meeting was held on July 20, 2004 at office of Belt Collins in Honolulu. President Cathy Leong announced that the Hawaii Section Annual Meeting would be held on August 17th at Wisteria Restaurant and the featured speaker would be Abe Wong from FHWA. She also announced that at the District 6 Annual Meeting in Sacramento, the Hawaii Section won a Membership Award for the highest percentage gain in members, as well as, the Fur-Lined Pot Award for its submissions to the Westernite.

The featured speaker was Thomas Quinn, Director of the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT), who spoke about his organization and their past, current, and future projects. HCATT, established in 1993 as the Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program, is currently federally funded through a partnership with the Advanced Alternative Power Technology Transformation Office (AAPTTO). Their objectives are to develop zero or low emission transportation technology along with the infrastructure to support it, create new business opportunities to attract new technology to Hawaii, and secure new sources of funding for their research. They are currently located in a facility on Cooke Street that is leased from HECO where they conduct environmental and life cycle testing, as well as, perform vehicle conversions. In 2001, Hyundai provided them with a number of electric vehicles with rapid charging capabilities for them to test. These vehicles were utilized by HECO, City and County of Honolulu, State of Hawaii, and on Hickam Air Force Base and recharged utilizing rapid charging stations located around Oahu that reduced a 6-8 hour charging time to approximately 10 minutes. Currently, many of these vehicles have been returned to Hyundai although a few are still in use for additional testing. Other past projects include an electric Waikiki trolley which is currently not in use and an electric bus which HECO still uses to transport its employees from their parking area to their office downtown. Current projects include the use of hybrid buses at the airport to support the WikiWiki system and in the City and County of Honolulu’s bus fleet that may be used as part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. In addition, they have been developing a 30’ fuel cell bus that will be used at the Hickam Air Force Base. Future projects include a hydrogen refueling station for fuel cell vehicles, multi-vehicle charging stations, and a lithium battery powered van. More information regarding HCATT can be found at their website, www.htdc.org/hcatt.

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May Meeting Summary

The May luncheon meeting was held on May 20, 2004 at the office of Belt Collins in Honolulu. The featured speaker was Lowell Chun, Chief of the Community Actions Plans Branch of the City and County of Honolulu, who spoke about the City’s update to the Primary Urban Center Plan. The plan, one of eight for the Island of Oahu, is a policy plan started in 1995 that outlines methods for intelligent growth for the primary urban center and is in line with the policies outlined in the General Plan for Oahu. The General Plan directs growth to two main areas on Oahu, the primary urban center and Ewa, in an attempt to maintain the rural areas. The primary urban center extends from Pearl City to Kahala and contains approximately half of the population on Oahu and three-quarters of the jobs. The plan for this area emphasizes enhanced livability, accommodations for moderate growth, support of neighborhood plans, evaluation of regulations and standards, and the provision of adequate support. The final draft of the plan dated May 2002 is currently in review by the City Council, after which the City hopes to initiate programs to implement the recommendation of the plan. These recommendations include the establishment of an urban growth boundary and generalized land use framework, enhancement of the urban landscape, provision of a range of housing choices, promotion of convenient travel choices, and development of attractive outdoor areas.

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April Meeting Summary

The April luncheon meeting was held on April 20, 2004 at the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation’s conference room in Kapolei. The featured speaker was Hilarie Keehne, planner for Townscape, Inc., who spoke about the Keahole to Honaunau Regional Circulation Plan that they prepared for the County of Hawaii. The plan, which was finalized in February 2003, provides recommendations that could help to alleviate existing and projected traffic conditions resulting from expected rapid population growth and land development, and the lack of affordable housing in the vicinity. The primary conclusion of the analysis performed for the plan was that despite all of the current and upcoming projects that the County of Hawaii has planned for the region, the implementation of alternative transportation facilities such as mass transit and bikeways would not be sufficient to accommodate future traffic growth without the construction of additional infrastructure. For the short term, the plan suggests that the County institute programs and policies regarding corridor preservation and access management, implement improvements to existing facilities, and explore new ideas such as transportation demand management (TDM) and paratransit. For the long-term, the plan indicates that an additional north-south corridor will be needed by the Year 2020 and explores three different possible alignments for that corridor. In addition, the plan identifies other projects and programs that could be explored further to help alleviate anticipated conditions. Since the study was finalized, the County has been considering instituting TDM programs involving rapid accident removal and the use of shoulder lanes to increase the capacity of existing roadways. In addition, they have been exploring the need to expand the existing bus routes, implement bike friendly improvements, and create a thoroughfare map, and revise the zoning and subdivision code.

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March Meeting Summary

The March luncheon meeting was held on March 23, 2004 at the office of Belt Collins in Honolulu. President Cathy Leong made the following announcements:

    • Cheryl Yoshida, CH2M Hill, has been appointed the new HCES representative.
    • Honglong Li, Lyon Associates, Inc., has been appointed the new OMPO Citizen’s Advisory Committee representative.
    • Hawaii Section to sponsor a NHI Roadside Design Course on May 18-19, 2004. Fliers are forthcoming.

 

  • 2006 District 6 Annual Meeting Logo entries are due at the end of March.
  • Hawaii Section golf tournament scheduled for April 30, 2004 at the Hawaii Prince Golf Course. Cost per golfer will be $65 and check in is at 10:45 AM.
  • ITE/DTS Engineer’s Week Display won the Presentation Award at the Engineer’s Week Banquet.
  • Hawaii Section website (www.ite-hawaii.com) has a new Events Gallery which includes photos of the Engineer’s Week Display and Banquet.
  • ITE member Ted Kawahigashi was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Engineer’s Week Banquet.
  • Field trip planned for June 19, 2004 (Saturday). The Hawaii Transportation Association will allow members to test-drive their trucks to obtain a better understanding of how difficult it is to maneuver large trucks through tight turning radii and narrow lanes.

The featured speakers were Director Cheryl Soon and Mike Oshiro from the Department of Transportation Services (DTS). Ms. Soon began her presentation by providing an update to the ongoing sidewalk widening project along Kuhio Avenue. The existing 4’ sidewalks will be widened to 6’ on both sides of the roadway. Consequently, the width of the existing four lanes will be modified to provide two 11’-6” outside lanes and two 10’-6” inside lanes. Ms. Soon then turned the meeting over to Mr. Oshiro who spoke about the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road. Due to increases in population, as well as previous experiences with traffic problems during emergency situations, the mayor allocated funds in 2000 to conduct a planning and feasibility study for an emergency access road through Waianae. Subsequently, the Waianae Sustainable Community Plan was developed by Townscape and the project is currently in the preliminary design stages. The proposed roadways will be designed to agricultural roadway standards with a 40’ right-of-way and a 24’ pavement width. This pavement width should be sufficient for two buses to pass each other along the roadways. Due to pedestrian safety concerns raised by the communities, the City has only designated two roadways that will be open at all times. The remainder of the new roadways will be kept gated and only opened when needed during emergencies. Adequate, permanent signage will be provided for all roadways and overhead lighting will be provided for the two roadways open at all times.

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February Meeting Summary

The February luncheon meeting was held on February 19, 2004 at the office of Belt Collins in Honolulu. President Cathy Leong announced that February 23-27 was Engineer’s Week and the Hawaii Section, in conjunction with the Department of Transportation Services (DTS), had prepared a display that would be on exhibition at Kahala Mall during that week. In addition, Legislative Committee Chair, Wayne Yoshioka, reported on the current transportation bills being considered by the legislature that encompass such topics as impact fees, rail, and traffic cameras.

The featured speaker was Glenn Yasui, Highways Administrator for the State Department of Transportation, who provided an update with regards to the Nimitz Highway Contraflow Lane. Mr. Yasui stated that traffic data collected before and after the implementation of the contra-flow lane indicates that the lane has reduced travel times between Keehi Interchange and Pacific Street. In addition, there are also indications that the contra-flow lane has eased congestion along the adjacent parallel routes. Some of the success of the project can be attributed to the further restriction of left-turn traffic movements along Nimitz Highway. Initially, there were concerns by adjacent businesses that these restrictions would significantly impact their operations, however, preliminary indications show that overall access for these businesses may have improved. Due the success of the project, the State plans to continue the contra-flow lane operation and is currently studying whether or not to utilize moveable barriers instead of traffic cones. In addition, the State is currently planning several other congestion mitigation projects which include the rerouting of traffic from the Lunalilo Street on-ramp of the H-1 Freeway to Vineyard Boulevard utilizing either delineators or a moveable barrier and the construction of an AM Zipper Lane along the H-1 viaduct to extend the existing Zipper Lane from the Pearl Harbor Interchange to the start of the Nimitz Highway contra-flow lane. The new Zipper Lane will have a moveable barrier with a smaller footprint so that the new Zipper Lane will only require one lane of traffic instead of two lanes.

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January Meeting Summary

The January luncheon meeting was held on January 27, 2004 at the office of Belt Collins in Honolulu. President Cathy Leong announced that Pierson Koike of the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services had been appointed to fill the recently vacated Secretary position.

The featured speaker was Gareth Sakakida, Managing Director of the Hawaii Transportation Association (HTA) that represents the visitor and trucking industries. Mr. Sakakida began his presentation by discussing several issues that HTA views as problematic. With regards to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, the HTA is officially opposed to the project. The BRT will require the reduction of lanes along Dillingham Boulevard which would greatly affect their trucking industry members and the BRT would provide additional competition for their visitor industry members in Waikiki. In addition, the BRT project proposes to narrow some lanes to 9’ in width which the HTA feels in inadequate for their vehicles. Mr. Sakakida also discussed the Nimitz Highway Contraflow lane, which the HTA is in support of since the project reduces traffic congestion along the roadway, and loading zones in downtown and Waikiki. Currently, there are not enough loading zones in these areas and the few that do exist are often blocked by non-commercial vehicles or other commercial vehicles that small enough to fit into garages. Finally, Mr. Sakakida discussed several problems associated with the lack of maintenance along roadways. First, the crown of a roadway can become a hazard for trucks if it is too steep due to pavement overlay since a truck may list and hit obstacles on the side of the road. Second, trees alongside a roadway can become a hazard if not maintained properly since they can reduce the vertical clearance for larger vehicles. Third, truck runaway ramps are often not provided along roadways, especially on the other islands, and those that do exist may not be maintained properly thereby negating its effectiveness.