Large turnout at meeting to discuss Pearl City, Aiea traffic problems

About a hundred people packed a public meeting Tuesday night to discuss traffic-related issues due to construction projects in Pearl City and Aiea.

Traffic has become a main source of frustration for many Leeward Oahu drivers. With countless road projects taking place all at once, many drivers are seeking answers to what is becoming a daily nightmare.

Officials with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), who oversees Oahu’s rail transit project, say they have been working with the city to adjust the timing of some traffic lights along Kamehameha Highway, which they say is easing congestion.

As for the city, transportation officials admit they need to do a better job of informing people about upcoming road projects. They are planning on hiring a consultant who will be making sure all departments are on the same page and alerting communities about any projects in their area.

“We haven’t needed to do it in the extent we need to do it in the future and that’s a given,” said Honolulu transportation services director Mike Formby. “The community has let us know that the current conditions are unacceptable and we understand that and its only going to get worse with time so the goal is to be out in front.”

“I think we have implemented some things as part of our work,” said HART spokesman Scott Ishikawa. “We try to coordinate our schedules as best as we can with the other agencies regarding the road projects so we don’t have too much road work going on.”

People who attended the meeting at Highlands Intermediate told KHON2 they were still left with many questions on what is actually being done to ease congestion.

“Nobody answered questions directly as to what is going to improve in the future,” said Jennifer Cadiente, who lives near Aloha Stadium.

“The meeting was somewhat informative, but not what I wanted to get out of it,” said Caroline Williams, who also lives nearby.

The state Department of Transportation did not attend Tuesday’s meeting because they were meeting with federal transportation officials.

HART says in light of graduation season, it will push back construction near Aloha Stadium to accommodate those attending commencement ceremonies.

Also in attendance were:

  • Sen. Breene Harimoto (Senate Dist. 16 – Pearl City, Aiea, Halawa, Pearl Harbor)
  • Sen. Clarence Nishihara (Senate Dist. 17 – Waipahu, Pearl City)
  • Rep. Roy Takumi (House Dist. 35 – Pearl City, Manana, Waipi‘o)
  • Honolulu City Councilmember Brandon Elefante (Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu)

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