Long Wahiawa traffic signal prompts city action

Schofield resident Sarah Oh took video as she was trying to get onto Wilikina Drive.

“We’ve been here since the clock said 7:27 [a.m.],” Oh said.

She said this traffic light at McNair Gate creates major backlogs.

“Backed up all the way to there,” Oh said.

She contacted Action Line, hoping KHON2 could help her and others avoid sitting in traffic.

“It seems to take longer than most other lights around here,” Schofield Resident Brandon Brooks said.

So KHON2 checked it out. Oh says drivers can sit at the light on Wilikina Drive for 4.5 minutes, waiting for the left-hand signal to turn green.

“It’s maddening. Especially when there’s not a lot of traffic going the other direction. And everybody has a red light and nobody can go,” Oh said.

KHON2 timed this traffic signal over and over. We found people waited between three and four minutes.

“The schedule here at Schofield is everybody has the same schedule, so they’re coming in and out at the same times at that leads to major backlogs,” Oh said.

KHON2 noticed backlogs in both directions.

We tested other traffic signals on Wilikina Drive including one at Macomb Road. Drivers waiting to make a left-hand turn into Schofield only waited one minute until the light turned green.

That’s why many drivers choose that entrance.

“Sometimes I avoid going that way and just go this gate whenever they’re open just so I don’t have to sit at this light,” Brooks said.

Still, drivers would like to see something done to ease the traffic woes there.

“I’d like to see the light a little bit shorter or very minimum, I’d like to see that red light a yield on green,” Oh said.

“Make the cycle go a little bit faster,” Brooks said.

While the state owns the road and traffic light, the city manages the timing of the signal.

City Transportation Director Mike Formby said four minutes is too long to wait.

After KHON2 contacted the city, crews checked out the traffic signal late Wednesday afternoon.

Crews discovered the sensors were broken and readjusted the timing of the signal.

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