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.
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.
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.
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.
President Sara Okuda welcomed everyone to the section meeting and went over several announcements:
• The ITE Western District Annual Meeting is July 10-13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
• The ITE International Annual Meeting is set for August 14-17 in Anaheim, California.
• Reminder to members to submit their ballots for the Western District before the ITE Western District Annual Meeting.
Vice President Chad Kadokawa then introduced Renee Espiau, City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Branch Chief, speaking on the TOD implementation strategies for communities on Oahu.
Renee opened with a brief introduction about TOD and the general plan for neighborhood TOD plans on Oahu, which will be centered primarily around the future Honolulu Rail Transit stations to encourage transit use and revitalization of communities near transit. Renee summarized the main highlights and characteristics of each TOD neighborhood, identifying action items for each. Renee also spoke about upcoming updates to City policies to promote TOD implementation strategies. Renee concluded her presentation by answering any questions from the audience.
Cathy Leong, Western ITE District Past-President, then announced and swore in the new 2017-2018 ITE Hawaii Section Officers:
• President: Chad Kadokawa
• Vice President: Claire Fukuoka
• Secretary-Treasurer: Cristina Rodriguez