I recently gained the following information and clarification regarding the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) from HPD:
1) What phone number should people call when there’s a traffic emergency and they want to ask for the emergency access roads to open? Are there different phone numbers for weekends vs weekdays?
The immediate determination to open the WCEAR is the on-duty lieutenant in District 8. They should contact the lieutenant through 911. Remember, it has to be an emergency in order to open the WCEAR. Heavy traffic is not an emergency to open the WCEAR. If the on-duty lieutenant has any question about opening the WCEAR, the lieutenant will call the HPD Captain or Major.
2) Can the City expand the times when the emergency access roads are opened, eg, such as on 02/13/16 when DOT closed a lane for roadwork, causing major traffic delays and spurring media coverage?
Maybe. As HPD understands the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), it has to be an emergency. Quite honestly, if an on-duty had called to open the roads on 2-13-2016, the HPD Captain or Major probably would have instructed them to not to open the WCEAR. Opening the WCEAR on that day would have made it 100% worse. As it was, the west bound traffic was moving. The east bound traffic was jammed. If HPD opened the WCEAR vehicles would have been turning across the west bound lanes of traffic and then coming down where the WCEAR comes out to Farrington and then to make a left turn to go east. That left hand turn by vehicle would most assuredly would have caused a mess of the west bound traffic. The contractor hired four special duty officers and one sergeant on that day, but to be effective with only one lane would have required an officer at every traffic light to keep traffic moving east.
3) Can the public get a copy of the current Memorandum of Agreement regarding the emergency access roads?
Sorry, but HPD is not in a position to release a copy. You would have to request it from the City Dept of Emergency Management (DEM) or the City Dept of Transportation Services (DTS), possibly.
4) Can HPD attend a meeting on 02/26/16, 12:30-1pm, at Helelua St ? A small group is meeting to walk along the road behind Yuen’s Store to explore making it part of the emergency access road to connect Helelua St. to Haleakala Ave.
Yes, HPD plans to send a representative.
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