Testimony for February 24, 2016 Hearing RE: ORTP Projects 54/351, 708, 51, and Farrington Hwy. Realignment at Makaha Beach
In regards to Agenda item: Draft Oahu Regional Transportation Plan 2040
The Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (ORTP) 2040 is a Federally-required planning document that establishes a long-range vision for surface transportation on Oahu and identifies projects and programs to help achieve that vision. Projects in the ORTP become eligible for Federal funding assistance. The ORTP must be updated at least every five years. The deadline for the next update is April 2016. OahuMPO staff will make a presentation on the draft of the ORTP 2040.
Several ORTP projects fall within State Senate District 21 (Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Waianae Coast), such as the Farrington Hwy. realignment, the Kalaeloa to Hakimo Road widening (Project 54/351), the Waianae by-pass road (Project 708), and multiple safety improvements (Project 51). I want to express my support for these as well as any and all projects that can be made to further facilitate motorist and pedestrian safety, ease of traffic congestion, an easier commute for residents, better road infrastructure, and better transportation access for the Leeward coast in general.
As you know, Farrington Hwy. is the only access for residents of Makaha, Waianae, Maili, Nanakuli, Ko Olina, and Honokai Hale. With only two lanes in each direction, even minor issues like a stalled vehicle can create hours of traffic backlog, adding to an already brutal commute. Subsequently, with our ever worsening traffic problems, residents are pleading for fruition of an alternate route or by-pass road, highway widening, and other traffic improvements to be moved forward on the timeline of ORTP projects. I would like to urge the Board to consider this edit in their upcoming review.
While one geographic area should not have higher priority solely because of traffic, I would like to point out how nearly every other community in Oahu has some sort of an alternate access route. Our coast is lacking that completely, despite moving slowly ahead on securing limited emergency access via Kole Kole Pass sometime in the future, and trying to add on to the existing WCEAR (Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road) located throughout the Waianae Coast.
I would like to thank this Board for all their hard work and for taking the time to hear my testimony. If you could please keep my office updated on any progress of any projects in my district, it would be most appreciated. Additionally, should there be further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above phone and email.
State Senator Maile S. L. Shimabukuro
Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Waianae Coast
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