Meeting Highlights

May 2019 Meeting Highlights

A Section meeting was held on May 21st at the Frank Fasi Municipal Building, 3rd Floor. President Claire Fukuoka welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.  Following the introductions, Claire asked the committee chairpersons to provide any new updates from the committees.  Student Chapter Liaison Eric Imada shared that Abdul Alghamdi will serve as the student chapter president in the upcoming school year and will work with the Section to arrange a professional development workshop for the students.  Legislative Committee Chairperson Wayne Yoshioka followed with a summary of the legislative measures that passed this recent session.  These measures included the passage of the red light cameras (SB663 SD2 HD1) and changes to the traffic code regarding pedestrian crossings (SB98 HD1 CD1).  The former establishes a red light running committee to develop policy recommendations for red light running pilot program and is comprised of state and county administrators while the latter is intended to clarify the requirement that a motorist yield to a pedestrian by specifying when a pedestrian is considered to be within an intersection or adjacent crosswalk.  Wayne was followed by International Director Cathy Leong who provided new updates on the on-going OneITE initiative.  She reminded everyone that the next District Meeting will be in Monterey, California from June 23-26. 

After the announcements, Claire went on to introduce guest speaker Justine Espiritu, Grants and Program Manager from Bikeshare Hawaii.  Todd Boulanger was previously scheduled to speak but was unable to attend due to a schedule conflict.  Justine’s presentation highlighted the organization’s successes in the last year including an increase in ridership and a 30 percent expansion to the program’s bicycle fleet growing from 100 stations to 130 stations within the last year.  Biki was also recently ranked top 6 bikeshare system in the nation by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.  Biki users are comprised of a mix of visitors and local residents with residents making up 60-75% of Biki users.  As such, Biki has been focused on targeting resident demand including areas like Makiki, Diamond Head, and Iwilei.  When asked what initiatives Biki has been involved in to increase infrastructure improvements, Justine shared that Biki has been working closely with the Hawaii Bicycling League to put together workshops to educate riders safe cycling practices and the rules of the road and encourage their members to be involved in town meetings.  In the future, the organization plans to explore potential sites for expansion including establishing satellite stations in Kapolei, Haleiwa, and Kailua. 

After Justine’s presentation, Claire announced that the next meeting will be the Annual Section meeting and will be held on June 13th also at the Frank Fasi Municipal Building, 3rd floor. 

February 2019 Meeting Highlights

President Claire Fukuoka welcomed everyone to the meeting.  She then shared some of the legislative bills Legislative Committee Chairperson Wayne Yoshioka has been following.  These include measures aimed at increasing pedestrian safety (no right-turn on red) and red light cameras.  Wayne has put together a summary of the bills currently under consideration which has been posted on our website.  Western District International Director Cathy Leong followed with announcements from the district level and thereafter Vice President Cristina Rodriguez introduced guest speaker Shelly Kunishige, DOT Public Affairs Officer.  She was also joined by Marshall Ando, DOT Highways Administrator.  The topic of Shelly’s presentation was “Maximizing Hawaii’s Highways: What DOT is doing to implement cost effective congestion relief quickly”.  According to Shelly’s presentation, there are currently 2,500 lane miles across Hawaii, of which 25% are considered in good condition, 53% in fair condition, and 22% in poor condition.  The organization’s goal is maintain at least 80% of the roadways in either fair or good condition.  However, faced with the rising cost of construction and a decrease in highways revenue, DOT has had to reprioritize its projects from improvements aimed to increase roadway capacity to system preservation projects that would utilize the existing right-of-way and provide the greatest benefit for minimal cost.  These projects have included the provision of an additional zipper lane, the Nanakuli Contraflow, the Kahekili Highway Resurfacing and Contraflow, and the Keaau-Pahoa Road Restriping between Keaau Town and Shower Drive.  The implementation of these projects has helped to increase roadway capacity along the affected areas all the while minimizing significant infrastructure modifications and cost.  In addition, DOT is currently designing a project to provide an additional lane to the westbound direction of H-201 between Puuloa and Halawa and in the future, plans to implement additional ITS improvements and upgrade traffic signals along Nimitz Highway to support connected vehicles.

November 2018 Meeting Highlights

President Claire Fukuoka opened the meeting by initiating introductions from everyone.  After the introductions, Western District International Director Elect Cathy Leong shared some announcements.  She encouraged other members to consider attending the upcoming Western district annual meeting to be held in Monterey, California in June 2019.  In addition, Cathy also provided new updates on ITE International’s One Initiative which she previously presented at the October meeting.  Finally, nominations are currently being accepted for anyone interested in running for the Western District elections.

Following the announcements, Vice President Cristina Rodriguez introduced guest speaker Kimi Yuen from PBR Hawaii and Associates.  Kimi is a principal at PBR Hawaii and has worked on a wide-range of regional planning projects, the development of master planned communities, long-range planning, and urban and community design guidelines.  The topic of her presentation was “Blending Planning with Transportation Engineering to Create a Sense of Place” in which she highlighted the need for more collaboration between planners and transportation engineers in order to advance the implementation of complete street improvements that cater to all users of the roadway.  Although guidelines for complete streets have been developed, progress has been slow in incorporating them into the City and County standards for roadway design.  She then discussed PBR’s involvement in the South Kauai Community Plan (SKCP) in which they collaborated with transportation consulting firm Fehr and Peers along with the County of Kauai to create a multimodal transportation plan that incorporated the resident’s requests for roadway improvements that also address pedestrians and bicyclists concerns.  In addition, the SKCP also adopted a form-based code to revise existing zoning regulations in key town core locations.  While conventional zoning is based on segregation of land uses, form-based codes address the relationship between the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another and the scale and types of roadways along these developments.  With a form-based code, roadway designs are “married” to the adjacent land uses and as such, the applicable design standards vary based on the location.  The presentation ended with a discussion with many members and guests sharing their insights on the challenges of updating the design standards and potential steps to help advance the change.

 

October 2018 Meeting Highlights

Claire opened the meeting by initiating introductions from everyone in the group. Cristina then introduced the speaker Kiana, who is a transportation planner at OahuMPO. She started the meeting by giving an overview of what OahuMPO does and the purpose of this organization. She went on to explain what “pricing solutions” are and how they can not only affect traffic congestion but also improve air pollution and provide a source of revenue for other transportation or maintenance projects. Some of the challenges include feasibility implementation, concerns such as how it can affect low-income travelers and political feasibility. She dove into a case study of how London implemented a pricing solution and how it has affected its urban core. An after study was conducted and found that there was a 30% decrease in the number of cars entering the urban core and 15% of circulating vehicles were reduced. She concluded by explaining the New York has been considering implementing this option for several years now but due to political reasons it has not happened yet. It was then discussed how feasible it would for a city like Honolulu to implement this.

 

August 2018 Meeting Highlights

Western District International Director Elect and Western District Task Force member Cathy Leong presented on the ITE International’s One ITE Initiative.  Cathy outlined the goals of the ITE One Initiative which are to deliver a consistent member experience, to provide effective member support, and to ensure the long-term viability of ITE.  The missions and purposes of all levels of ITE (district, a section, and a chapter) have also been rewritten to clarify the relationships between the levels.  In conjunction with the implementation of the ITE One Initiative, all districts, sections, and chapters will need to have their charters re-issued in order to incorporate the new provisions adopted by the International Board of Directors.  During the most recent ITE International Annual Meeting, the ITE International Board passed a motion to direct the Western District Task Force to develop a transition plan that will result in the creation of one or more new districts.  Two options have been considered but the most likely option is the creation of a new Rocky Mountain District that would include states such as Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.  This would lead to a reduction of a third of the Western District’s current membership.  Cathy further elaborated on potential implications of a smaller district membership that may include an increase in membership dues to continue existing programs or restriction of district programs; revisions of board positions and election policies; and consolidation of committee duties.  Responses are currently being obtained from the membership until October 5th to gather member input on the proposed initiative.

At the end of Cathy’s formal presentation, members present were asked for any questions or comments on the initiative’s implications to the Hawaii section.  Members’ concerns centered primarily on the Annual Meeting planned for 2020.  However, Cathy, who is also LAC chairperson for the 2020 meeting, expressed that the committee has been conservative in their planning will have a minimal impact on attendance.

Finally, the members present were asked if they would like to volunteer for any of the existing committees.  Eric Imada has agreed to be the new student liaisons chairperson who will work with Dr. Zhang from the University of Hawaii-Manoa to encourage more student participation in ITE.  Robert Nehmad will remain as the ITE representative to the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) with Claire Fukuoka as alternate.  Wayne Yoshioka will return as the Legislative Committee chairperson while Dr. Honglong Li will replace Steve Yoshida as the Technical Committee chairperson.  The Section still needs a volunteer to serve as representative to the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies (HCES).  Warren Yamamoto currently serves as the HCES representative.