Report: Traffic congestion in Honolulu ranked second-worst in the nation

Experts say Honolulu’s traffic is among the worst in the nation and getting worse.

For Shared Vivek, traffic is so bad in Honolulu that it affects him emotionally.

“I’m petrified of traffic in the sense that I really don’t like leaving the house in certain hours to get the kids,” Vivek said.

Traffic is getting worse. In fact, Honolulu’s traffic is so bad, only one city in America is worse.

“Honolulu stands at No. 2 on the list of 100 cities after Los Angeles,” INRIX director of community relations Jim Bak said.

Last year, Honolulu traffic was also the second worst in the nation behind L.A., with just over 50 hours a year wasted in traffic. That time behind the wheel is getting longer.

“On average, folks who drive in Honolulu on a daily basis waste about 51 hours a year in traffic. So think about that as more than a weeks worth of a vacation you sit staring at your windshield,” Bak said.

The study finds that drivers are better educated about traffic delays due to smartphones with interactive traffic maps and social media, but these tools aren’t really helping because the economy is getting better.

“In 2008, when we went into the recession, we saw traffic congestion drop 30 percent across the country. And it’s actually struggled to come back since. It’s been down double digits for the last two years. But what we’re finding is the first three months of 2013, traffic’s actually up about four percent and we’re finding that a lot of that mirrors a lot with employment,” Bak said.

The state Department of Transportation is planning to combat the traffic delays with projects like the P.M. zipper lane to Pearl City, which should be open by the fall of this year.

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