Heads Up~Westbound Lane Closure in Nanakuli to Resume Aug. 31-Sept. 8; DOT to Eliminate Multiple Simultaneous Lane Closures Until 5th Lane is Complete

 Message from DOT:

Aloha,

In order to balance lane closures necessary for the safety of those involved in construction to add services and supporting infrastructure for the community with traffic mitigation, HDOT has coordinated with the contractors for the various projects taking place between Haleakala and Nanakuli Avenues. The attached graphic shows upcoming closures for this week and next week on Farrington Highway between Haleakala Avenue and Nanakuli Avenue.
Going forward, until the completion of the fifth turning lane in Nanakuli, HDOT will not allow multiple adjacent closures totaling more than 500 feet or more than one lane to be closed on Farrington Highway. If multiple contractors can be accommodated within the same closure, they will be allowed to work on our facility.
Regards,
Shelly Kunishige
Department of Transportation
Public Affairs Office
Office: (808) 587-2161
E-mail: shelly.y.kunishige@hawaii.gov
http://hidot.hawaii.gov
@DOTHawaii
/HawaiiDepartmentOfTransportation

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Monthly Siren Test Friday 9/1/17

SIREN AND EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM TEST

HONOLULU — The State’s monthly test of the Statewide Outdoor Warning Siren System using the Attention Alert Signal “Steady tone”, coordinated with the test of the Live Audio Broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System, is scheduled for Friday, September 1, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

The siren test is a steady one minute tone on all sirens. The warning sirens are used to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life or property. The sound of the sirens is a cue for residents to turn on a radio or television for information and instruction for an impending emergency. Besides natural hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

Contact your emergency management/county civil defense agency to report siren operation issues:

Hawaii (808) 935-0031
Maui (808) 270-7285
City and County of Honolulu (808) 723-8960
Kauai (808) 241-1800

Oahu residents in areas surrounding Campbell Industrial Park, Honokai Hale, Makakilo, Kapolei Regional Park, Kapolei Golf Course, and the Coast Guard Station at Kalaeloa may also hear a “whooping” tone following the siren test. This “whooping” tone is a test of the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) siren warning group that will be activated in the event of a HAZMAT incident. Contact the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management at (808) 723-8960 for more information on the HAZMAT Incident outdoor siren warning test.

Tests of the outdoor warning sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcast industry. Emergency management and disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of telephone directories in all counties.

What Do You Think About These Proposed Traffic Solutions?

I am working with other policy-makers to improve our traffic situation by extending our emergency access road and allowing it to be used during road work, creating a parallel route for daily use, etc.  Here is a resolution (see below) we drafted that the Neighborhood Board may consider passing in the coming months.  Please let us know what you think since community support is critical to make this happen. Click on “Leave a comment” at the end of this post or email me at maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com or senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov. -Maile

Proposed Resolution

REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOMELANDS, THE CITY, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, AND AREA POLICY-MAKERS TO EXTEND THE WAIANAE COAST EMERGENCY ACCESS ROAD AND INCLUDE PLANNED LANE CLOSURES FOR ROAD WORK AS AN ALLOWABLE USE, AND TO BUILD A PARALLEL ROUTE FOR DAILY USE  

WHEREAS, although West Oahu has experienced exponential growth and development over the last 20 years, transportation infrastructure has not kept pace, with traffic volume on Farrington Highway increasing from an average of 20,000 vehicles per day in 2000 to 50,000 vehicles per day in 2016; and

WHEREAS, the July 2015 water main break near Piliokahi Avenue shut down all lanes of Farrington Highway for over 48 hours. During this disaster, the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) was open. However, frustrated drivers were still stuck in horrendous gridlock for 4-6+ hours to get in and out of the Waianae Coast. WCEAR proved to be problematic, since the “Bridge to Nowhere” at Kalanianaole Beach Park was grossly inadequate; and

WHEREAS, following the water main break, residents demanded that policy-makers improve WCEAR and expand its usage. Thereafter, the Ahupua`a o Nanakuli Homestead (AONH), area legislators, and other community leaders hosted a series of public meetings and site visits to examine possible ways to improve WCEAR; and  

WHEREAS, in 2016 and 2017, the State Legislature and City Council allocated a total of $9m ($6m in 2016, and $3m in 2017) to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) and the City Department of Emergency Management (DEM) for the purpose of extending WCEAR further east past Helelua Street and making other improvements. The $6m allocated in 2016 will lapse in June 2018; and

WHEREAS, DHHL has determined that the most favorable route to extend WCEAR is from Puu Heleakala park to the Door of Faith Church driveway on Haleakala Avenue. DHHL is conducting community consultations regarding this proposed route, and is also proposing to conduct an environmental study of this route; and

WHEREAS, during the first week back to public school in August 2017, multiple lane closures for road work took place in Nanakuli, creating a horrible traffic gridlock. Residents demanded swift action, and as a result, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) ended lane closures for two weeks to allow it time to request the use of WCEAR; and

WHEREAS, for many years, and increasingly since this incident, residents have begged policy-makers to build a permanent second access road, and to allow WCEAR to be used more regularly, such as during road work, traffic accidents, rush hour, and other times of congestion; and

WHEREAS, DOT has indicated its support to regularly use WCEAR for planned lane closures due to road work. Currently, DOT must go through a lengthy process to use WCEAR, including consulting area residents; and

WHEREAS, DEM has indicated that the existing WCEAR roadways are limited to declared emergencies, pursuant to written agreements with private landowners and environmental studies. Thus, DEM could not support using existing WCEAR roadways for planned lane closures for road work. However, DEM has no objection to using new WCEAR extensions for this purpose, provided that the environmental studies and agreements allow for this use; and

WHEREAS, affected communities are understandably reluctant to support having WCEAR extensions built through their neighborhoods, and may oppose expanding the use of WCEAR to include road work; and

WHEREAS, Sea Country, Mailiilii Road, Paakea Road, Hakimo Road, Lualualei Naval Road, Sack and Save, Puu Heleakala, and other areas along Farrington Highway have emergency access roads running through their neighborhoods. After Helelua Street, however, WCEAR ends until the “bridge to nowhere” at Kalanianaole Beach Park. Unfortunately, as was evidenced by the 2015 water main break, this bridge is an insufficient solution in and of itself; and

WHEREAS, the WCEAR 2001 plan indicated that the Paakea Road portion of WCEAR should be open permanently for daily use, and area residents and farmers support this change; and

WHEREAS, policy-makers understand that many residents want a second highway in addition to WCEAR improvements. However, a second highway is a long-term solution that is not likely to happen for decades. Thus, in the meantime, policy-makers are working on creating a parallel route, in the vicinity of “Series 7” at Piliokahi Avenue, to Lualualei Naval Road, and elsewhere along the coast.  This route would be a series of roads and bridges connecting existing roads which would be open for daily use; and

WHEREAS, policy-makers have been tasked to come up with expeditious solutions to improve WCEAR, emergency evacuations, and other traffic congestion. These solutions may be opposed by some, but are necessary sacrifices for the greater good; and now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board, that DHHL, DEM, and other area policy-makers are urged to build extensions of WCEAR, including from Puu Heleakala park to Door of Faith Church driveway on Haleakala Avenue, as well as other extensions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHHL, DEM and other area policy-makers are urged to include planned lane closures for road work as an allowable use of WCEAR; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City and other area policy-makers are urged to condemn the locked Paakea Road portion of WCEAR to make it available for daily public use; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHHL, DOT, the City and other area policy-makers are urged to construct a parallel route for daily use, in the vicinity of Series 7 to Lualualei Naval Road and elsewhere throughout the Waianae Coast; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHHL, DOT, the City and other area policy-makers are urged to create plans, including route maps, timelines for implementation, measures to avoid or mitigate disruption of access to currently available routes, an artist’s rendition of the conceptual routes, and any other relevant information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to DHHL, DEM, DOT, the City Department of Transportation Services, area legislators, community publications, and outlets for community distribution.

Sen. Maile Shimabukuro on Illegal Dumping at Boat Harbor

Waianae homeless say they’re unfairly blamed for illegal dumping
By Chelsea Davis, Hawaii News Now, 8/22-23/17

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Moki Hokoana … a resident of Puuhonua O Waianae … says the area has been an illegal dump site for years and they always end up cleaning it up even though they aren’t responsible.

“It is very questionable because you see appliances there, washing machines, and things of that sort that obviously wouldn’t be coming from a homeless camp where they have no power,” said State Senator Maile Shimabukuro.

Shimabukuro wants cameras at the entrance of the harbor to help catch the culprits.

State Representative for the area Cedric Gates said he’s working on an agreement to allow city workers to pick up trash on state land on a regular basis.

Officials with the state land department say they are open to that idea and said it is also putting up bollards to help curb the activity.

Waianae resident James Pakele has a home. But he volunteers his time and his boss with Aloha Trucking loans him a truck to help with clean ups.

See the full video and article at Hawaii News Now.

HNN: “DOT proposes changes to improve highway safety in Waianae”

Sunday, August 13th 2017, 5:48 pm HST By Jobeth Devera, Reporter


WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The state Department of Transportation is proposing to make several safety improvements along Farrington Highway, including eliminating and relocating some bus stops and crosswalks.

The two bus stops and unsignalized crosswalk near Black Rocks Beach in Nanakuli are on the list.

Resident Zelda Kaeo says removing them will only encourage more jaywalking.

“This is the first crosswalk coming into Nanakuli,” said resident Zelda Kaeo. “It’s been here for years and years. Now we’re going to have to walk all the way to the traffic light just to come back to this beach.”

Down near Sack N Save, two more heavily-used bus stops would be removed and relocated about 200 yards to Lualualei Naval Road.

Some say it will be an inconvenience.

“They should not move them because everyone uses this spot and everyone knows this spot, it’s a safe spot right here,” said Nanakuli resident Preston Pastor.

The DOT says the changes will help improve overall safety along the Farrington corridor.

About 13 unsignalized crosswalks that are deemed too risky will be removed, while other crosswalks like the ones at Jade Street and Water Street, will be enhanced.

Officials plan to add extra signage and flashing beacons, something the Leeward Coast community has requested for years.

“When there’s no signal, it’s so hard to see and a lot of times you’re looking at the car in front of you and looking ahead and not realizing there’s a pedestrian there,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro whose districts includes Waianae and Makaha.

Shimabukuro is an avid bus rider herself and supports the changes.

“The bottom line is you’re going to have to walk further to get to your bus stop or crosswalk,” she said. “I know it’s going to be difficult for the public to swallow and I’m sure there will be opposition, but I think if you have to balance inconvenience with saving a life, you’re going to choose the latter, no question.”

The public has until August 31st to provide feedback on the proposed changes between Pohakunui Ave. and Hakimo Road and until October 5th on the proposed changes between Hakimo Road and Kili Drive.

Contact your neighborhood board leaders or DOT directly through DOTPAO@hawaii.gov or by phone at 808-587-2160.

Click on this link to view the proposed traffic safety improvements: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/files/2017/07/Farrington-Corridor-Safety-Study.pdf

Here is a link to the news story: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/36126509/dot-seeks-public-feedback-on-farrington-highway-safety-improvements

Update on Use of Emergency Access Roads During Road Work & Parallel Route

Policy-makers met to discuss a parallel route from around Series 7 to Lualualei Naval Road. L-R: Jimmy Hamada (Rep. Gabbard’s office), Craig Chun (City DTS), Sen. Shimabukuro, Ed Sniffen (DOT), Rep. Gates, Julie Cachola (DHHL), and Jeffrey Fujimoto (DHHL).

Maile 032914AThe first week back to school was a rough one. Multiple lane closures due to road work on Farrington Highway coupled with back to school traffic created a traffic nightmare. Eventually, DOT stopped the lane closures for two weeks, and will go through a process to try and get an exception to allow for use of the Waianae Coast emergency access road (WCEAR) for road work, including contacting the surrounding neighbors.

Many community members urged lawmakers to push to allow more frequent use of WCEAR for road work, etc. As background, when WCEAR was built, the private landowners and community were adamant that they only be used for emergencies. Looking forward, I have asked the Neighborhood Board to introduce a resolution supporting use of the WCEAR extension we are building to connect Helelua Street to the Nanakuli Homesteads, for road work lane closures. We want to try and make this happen, but are already getting push back for building the road just for emergencies.

I know it would be preferable to have WCEAR go above the homesteads, but unfortunately that is not something that can happen in the near-term. I also understand where some opponents are coming from. But practically every community along Farrington Highway has an emergency access road running through it except the Nanakuli Homestead. So if you as a Nanakuli homesteader personally happen to be in Makaha one day and an emergency strikes, you could drive through emergency access roads in Makaha, Waianae, Sea Country, Mailiilii, Paakea, Lualualei Naval Road, Helelua, etc. I know that none of those communities look forward to having more cars drive through their neighborhoods, but it’s a sacrifice we all make for the sake of the greater good.

DHHL has a fiduciary duty to care for Nanakuli homesteaders of course, but they also have the same responsibility for Princess Kahanu, Waianae Kai, and Waianae Valley homesteaders who need to get through Nanakuli in times of emergency. As we saw with the water main break, the “bridge to nowhere” is an insufficient solution in and of itself.

We are also trying to build a “parallel route” that would be open all the time from around Series 7 to Lualualei Naval Road. It would be a series of roads and bridges connecting existing roads. We know that most of you would prefer a bypass road like H-3, but that is a long-term solution that is not likely to happen for decades. We are trying to come up with a more immediate solution in the meantime. But again, we need community support for any of this to become a reality.

We lawmakers have been tasked to come up with an expeditious solution for the greater good. I hope you will consider supporting use of the WCEAR extension for road work, as well as a “parallel route,” so that we can avoid the anguish that so many drivers suffered during this first week of school.

Mahalo for the privilege of serving you. Contact me with your questions or concerns at 586-7793.

Aloha,
Senator Maile Shimabukuro
District 21
(Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Ma`ili, Wai`anae, Makaha, Makua)
State Capitol, Room 222
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-7793 phone
808-586-7797 facsimile
maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com
Facebook: Like Me
Twitter: @SenMaile
Blog: http://21maile.com

Senator Maile Shimabukuro on Removing Airbag Requirement

Ben Gutierrez, “DOT considers removing airbag requirement in vehicle safety checks,” Hawaii News Now, 11 Aug.2017.

The state Department of Transportation is proposing eliminating the airbag requirement in motor vehicle inspections. It’s a move that has the support of some experienced auto mechanics, who say the airbags do more harm than good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says frontal airbags have reduced driver fatalities by 29 percent. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly 290 people were killed by airbags, most of them in vehicles manufactured before 1998.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 11.20.57 PM.png

“If — and that’s a big word — if airbags were safe, why does it hurt and kill children?” asked longtime auto mechanic George Nitta. He’s convicted that airbags cause more injury in a crash.

“Have you seen someone who got slammed with an air bag? One of my customers did, and I looked at her and she looked like somebody slammed her in the face with a board,” said Nitta.

The state’ current administrative rules on motor vehicle safety inspections say that if a vehicle is equipped with frontal airbags, they must be fully functional.

“They want the right to be able to remove an airbag, if you have it in your car, because they feel — many people that it’s not safe,” said state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, who’s on the senate Transportation Committee. She’s heard from those auto mechanics. And she’s also concerned about the recalls of airbags manufactured by Takata, which has been sued because of exploding airbags.

“I think that’s kinda led to some of the concerns whether this should really be required or optional,” she said.

The state DOT said it’s now reviewing a proposed amendment to the rules that would no longer require airbags. After the review is completed, the change will be posted on its website and public hearings will be held.

We asked Nitta if no longer having that requirement would allow a car’s owner to disable its airbags.

“Right, right,” he replied. “I recommend it.”