Gridlocked On The Hawaii Five-O

I actually thought this statistic was interesting, but it makes sense if you think about it.

Los Angeles has something of a bad reputation for traffic jams, with its perennially snarled freeways. But, surprisingly, it’s not the worst US city for gridlock, says a new study.

That dubious honor goes to .. Honolulu.

Commuters in the Hawaiian paradise capital spent some 58 hours not moving in their cars last year, said the study which nevertheless put LA in second place, with San Francisco and New York not far behind in the traffic nightmare stakes.

Overall there was at least some good news: traffic congestion was down by 30 percent overall in America, according to the fifth Annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard.

Never been to Hawaii, but I guess people need cars/trucks to get around.  Wikipedia tells me Oahu, where Honolulu is, has about a million people on an island the size of 600 square miles, for a population density of roughly 1,500 people per square mile, about 20% higher than the state of New Jersey (which I have been to.)  So yeah, I can completely understand why the city would have traffic issues.

Turns out they’re working on a solution, too.  It also turns out there’s lawsuits against said solution.  All this is news to me, but it seems to be something worth following in the “Things I learned today” category.   The city does have a decent walk score, too.

Curious to know what Atrios has to say about it, it’s right in his wheelhouse.

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72 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    Atlanta sucks too. On the upside, I’m going to Maui in July, look out fishes!

  2. 2
    redshirt says:

    Traffic jams in paradise. Must be ironic. I should try and remember this when stuck on 128 in fracking Woburn. Ack.

  3. 3
    Mino says:

    Isn’t Hawaii in the process to going electric? At least someday their exhausts won’t be gassing the planet.

  4. 4
    deep says:

    I hear that “Hawaii” place is where our Kenyan-born muslim president was “born”. Sounds like a ferrin’ place ta’ me.

  5. 5
    kd bart says:

    Because he was born there, allegedly, it’s all Obama’s fault.

  6. 6
    jibeaux says:

    For the life of me, there is no way to explain the RW opposition to mass transit in any terms other than cleek’s formulation. Nobody’s forcing you to use it, and if it’s cheap and convenient, traffic will be better for you & your car. FFS. All it would have taken for me is to compare our big stadium in Raleigh (out in the middle of nowhere off the interstate, not near restaurants, no way to get there other than drive, allow 2 hours for traffic or else get there 5 hours early and tailgate) v. the stadium in downtown Charlotte (hop on and off the light rail). When U2 played here, there were plenty of people trying to listen to the concert from their cars on the highway because they hadn’t allowed enough time to get in. You’d need a labotomy * to think that’s preferable to light rail.

    * thanks, George Tierney, Jr. of Greenville, SC!

  7. 7
    kd bart says:

    @Mino:

    “Hawaii going electric”

    Is that like Dylan going electric?

  8. 8
    rlrr says:

    @kd bart:

    Because everything bad is Obama’s fault, according to Fox “News”.

  9. 9
    redshirt says:

    @jibeaux: What’s Cleek’s Formulation? “If’n the Libtards are a’for it….”?

    Cuz that explains most everything about them these days.

  10. 10
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @redshirt: having grown up next to and learned to drive on 128 although thankfully not in Woburn i think its special brand or traffic hell will not pale in comparison to Hawaii even if they have more gridlock. I have driving habits developed on that stretch of road that have left passengers from 3 continents white knuckled.

  11. 11
    jibeaux says:

    @redshirt: Conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want, updated daily.

  12. 12
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @jibeaux:

    For the life of me, there is no way to explain the RW opposition to mass transit in any terms other than cleek’s formulation.

    Well, there is something to do with not relying on a “nanny” government to get you to that stadium on time. They never seem to put 2 and 2 together as they are listening to the music on a government built road outside the stadium. Their lack of self awareness is stunning at times.

  13. 13
    Mino says:

    @kd bart: Well, Dylan can do whatever he wants, by me.

    http://mauinow.com/2012/03/02/.....to-grapes/

    I imagine the price they pay for gasoline was a big consideration.

  14. 14
    Tokyokie says:

    Actually, the situation on Oahu is worse than a brief description of population density would indicate. Most of the central part of the island is too steeply mountainous for habitation, plus major military bases take up a lot of room that might otherwise be used for housing. That leaves the southern and eastern shores, basically, for housing, jamming most of those million people into an even smaller area. (There’s some housing on the western side of the island, but it’s literally the low-rent district, and the only road accessing the area is often cut off by high waters.)

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    @jibeaux: The Atlanta burbs oppose it because the sP##ks will just hop on, rob them and go back to the ghetto.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    And yes, contrary to what one would think, there are interstate highways in Hawaii.

    H-1, H-2 and H-3, all on Oahu.

    Loophole in interstate highway funding allows for roads which along their route connect military bases, something Oahu has aplenty.

  17. 17
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Correction- on a government built road outside of a taxpayer funded stadium- at least that’s how it works in Portland. We do have light rail to the stadium, and lots of normal looking people park their cars in mall parking lots for free and take light rail to the Blazer games. The burbs and exurbs did oppose light rail due to the sp##k issue Raven alludes to above. I like our light rail, and use it if it goes where I want to go. It’s much more reliable than a bus and much cheaper than trying to park downtown.

  18. 18
    redshirt says:

    @jibeaux: Pithy, and accurate. Go Cleek!

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @Raven

    Prepare for gasoline sticker shock.

    Regular (lowest priced) gas on Maui around $4.88/gallon right now.

    In Hana (far east side of Maui, a must for tourists), running around $5.98 for regular.

  20. 20
    Joey Maloney says:

    I haven’t been keeping up on the details of the Honolulu light rail but if it gets stopped it will be the second transit project failure in the islands due to sloppy (or deliberately fudged) EIS work. The superferry would have been a boon for interisland travel; right now you either take a plane or get in your kayak and start paddling. And since Aloha went out of business a few years ago there’s only one major interisland carrier and (surprise) fares have risen steeply.

    When I win the lottery, I’m going to rebuild rail on the Big Island. There was a working railroad system that covered more or less the eastern third of the island’s coastline until 1946. The right-of-way is still mostly there and a working line would solve the major congestion problem in East Hawaii, commuters who live in Puna and work in Hilo.

    But this is just my personal hobbyhorse, I know no one here gives a crap. :-)

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Yea, and food and fishing and a frickin wedding at the Grand Wailea. That’s after buying the airline ticket and having to pay $140 to pick a goddamn seat. But I am happy with the Kamole Sands rental for now.

  22. 22
    jibeaux says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Oh, I know, I’ve had that conversation. “But the roads are built with the gas taxes!” Okay, not entirely true, but sure, lots of highway funding comes from gas taxes. But WHY is it o.k. to build roads with gas taxes and not public transport with the same taxes? Why is it some sort of foregone conclusion that gas taxes can only go towards roads and that any public transportation spending is some kind of boondoggle? They act like the roads are somehow paying for themselves but nothing else could ever pay for itself.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jibeaux:

    They act like the roads are somehow paying for themselves but nothing else could ever pay for itself.

    The easiest explanation is that they are cretinously stupid.

    The more complicated explanation is that they have no ability to critically think, they have no appreciation of cause and effect, they know nothing of history, and their ideology demands that none of the former qualities ever enter into it, because shut the fuck up, that’s why!

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Raven:

    You’ll have the time of your life. The Sunday brunch at the Grand Wailea is to die for.

    If you can rouse yourself to get into your rental car at some ungodly hour for a 2-hour (minimum) drive, the trip to witness sunrise at the crater of Haleakala volcano is breathtakingly stunning. There is a phone line which gives weather forecasts for the sunrise, so make sure to check that it will be clear. And bring sweaters or jackets. At 10,000 feet up, it is freaking cold up there until later in the day.

    After done there, drive down the mountain and head to Grandma’s Coffee House in nearby Ulupalakua for great coffee and yummy fresh-baked pastries. Just a hop and a skip from there to the winery for free samples. And elkburgers at the store across the street from the vineyard. :)

  25. 25
    redshirt says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I hate it so much! Beyond words. It’s poisoned me. BUT! From the “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” file, I am now ruthlessly Massholified – but fret not, innocent folk: I only (mostly!) use my powers against other Massholes.

  26. 26
    Zandar says:

    @Tokyokie: Looking at the maps, yeah. That’s some serious crowding there along the south shore.

  27. 27
    kdaug says:

    Weird – this meme has been coming up a lot in the last few days.

    Bar, FB, here – the zietgiest shifts.

    This is the 4th time I’ve posted this since Monday.

    Shit’s moving fast.

  28. 28
    iceskatingschnauzer says:

    I lived on Oahu from 1989 to 1994 – the H3 had been finished about 6 months before I left the Island. I commuted from Mililani to Honolulu on the H2/H1 (first years on The Bus – a really great bus system, all in all, but was always packed like sardines, I stood many a ride into and out of town – and then switched to a commercial bus, which was more expensive but guaranteed cushioned seat, that left the Mililani Town Shopping Center and stopped at 4-5 stops in downtown Honolulu). When I lived in Mililani, The Bus ran right past where I lived, which was at the beginning of the route through Mililani. After we moved to Schofield Barracks I’d drive to the park ‘n ride lot across from Wheeler Air Force Base to catch The Bus – never got a seat there – always had one bus driver named Kimo, he was a great guy. Then I drove to Mililani Town Center to ride the commercial bus service for a few years. My last year I actually drove into town because the place I worked provided parking. Commute on The Bus – got on at 5:50 arrived downtown at 7:45. Commute on commercial bus – got on at 6:30 and arrived downtown at around 7:50. The buses used the HOV lanes. Driving was about the same because I’d get off the H1 at the airport and hit Nimitz Highway for the rest of the trip into town which avoided some of the worst parts of the H1 where the lanes went down in number to get through the underpass.

    The problem is that no matter where you live on the Island the majority of the jobs are in downtown so everyone is trying to get to Honolulu (lawyers, banks, etc. are all along Bishop/state offices are also located a few blocks away along Beretania/not to mention the private school traffic).

    I can only imagine how much worse it has become in the 18 years since. Still I loved every minute of the 6 years I lived there – wouldn’t trade it for anything and my daughter got to grow up in one of the most beautiful places on the Earth!

  29. 29

    @jibeaux:

    For the life of me, there is no way to explain the RW opposition to mass transit in any terms other than cleek’s formulation

    Yep. Reflex.

    In my own neck of the woods, it’s wind turbines. Salem’s on the coast, with more wind-per-annum than Chicago, and about to lose its coal-fired powerplant in 2014 or so. Wind turbines should be a no-brainer.

    But, no. Nothing turns right-wingers into environmentalists faster than a wind turbine proposal: “What about the wildlife?” They complain about destroying the ocean view (as if the current stacks from the coal plant weren’t an eyesore). They’re also very worried about the size of the ‘fall zone’, even though there are no residential areas within it.

    Or the latest meme: Noise complaints. Wind turbines apparently make ‘subsonic noise’, so I’ve been hearing wingers(*) use that excuse for a few weeks now.

    ([*] among them my asshole across-the-street neighbor, who loves firing up his Harley at 7:30am on Saturday morning).

  30. 30
    jibeaux says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: I don’t understand that either, but of course I don’t even see how they’re eyesores. They look fine to me, and loads better than your idiotic McMansion up there on the ridgeline. Even if you do somehow think they’re an eyesore, then if we’re not willing to put up with that in order to get clean renewable energy and lessen our dependence on dirty energy, then we are literally not willing to anything at all.

  31. 31
    lostinube says:

    The state of Hawaii has over a million people but it also has over a million cars. All of whom seem to be on the road during weekday rush hours turning fifteen minute drives into forty-five minute to an hour slogs.

    Uncle Fasi’s Limo, aka TheBus, gets lots of passengers but it doesn’t really alleviate the problem because anyone who has a car will use one.

    As for mass transit, when you consider that it took H-3 something like forty years to go from concept to finally opening, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I think the fight for some kind of rail system has been going on just as long.

    Also, both the proposed rail system and the failed superferry (and H-3, actually), are/were opposed by the right and the left but for different reasons.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:
    Here in Mpls the most listened to morning drive clown rails against mass transit all the time on exactly this argument. An almost direct quote:
    Yeah, and you’ll be taking the light rail home from work and see your TV go by the other way on its way to North Minneapolis.

  33. 33
    Jay C says:

    For the life of me, there is no way to explain the RW opposition to mass transit in any terms other than cleek’s formulation

    And there’s also the “freedom” issue: not to get all mystical/analytic about it, but in the back of most Americans’ minds, there is still a lot of nostalgia for the sort of “car culture” virtually all of us under 80 have grown up in. The idea (and for the most part, it’s reality) of just being able to get in one’s car, fire it up and be able to go pretty much anywhere where there’s pavement is part of the background culture of the nation.

    And it’s not all just winger nostalgia BS: try to imagine how hard it would have been to get around in, say, 1905 (outside developed urban areas) with only trains as “transit”, and only horses, bicycles and walking as alternatives.

    Add to this 60+ years of auto-industry-fuelled propaganda pretty much demonizing any other form of transport – and finally, apply the Cleek Principle – and it’s no surprise that wingnuts would reflexively oppose any and/or all types of mass transit – no matter how much more fast or efficient they might be.

  34. 34
    lostinube says:

    Whoops, I should note that the mass transit system is currently a go but then again, the ferry ran for a couple of years before it got shut down.

    The rail system thing was a big issue during the last mayoral election, if I recall correctly.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    You’re making me miss Hawaii (though we went to Kauai, not Maui). We really loved it there — strange as it sounds, it had a very Midwestern feel (friendly but not overly familiar people) with the perfect weather you never get in the Midwest.

    After visiting Hawaii, it made perfect sense why Barack Obama would be able to settle happily in Chicago despite the weather.

  36. 36
    TXG1112 says:

    Believe it our not, much of NJ is pretty rural. Calling it the Garden State isn’t just a bad joke.

    Most of the density comes from Hudson county, the portion of NJ closest to Manhattan, which is over 13k people per sq mi. The suburban counties surrounding Hudson are in the 3k-6k density range which is about the same as Honolulu itself.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I am eagerly anticipating our supertrains here in California, though the routes that I could actually use won’t be built for about 10 years.

    The airlines are doing everything they can to block it (LA to the Bay Area is very, very profitable) but a lot of people are enthusiastic, so hopefully it won’t be killed in the cradle. Since the current choice is two hours to take a plane (that’s including arriving at the airport an hour ahead) or 8 hours in a car, I’m guessing that 3-4 hours by high-speed rail will be pretty popular.

  38. 38
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Curious to know what Atrios has to say about it, it’s right in his wheelhouse.

    Either “someone should do something” or “WHEEEEE!”

  39. 39
    gene108 says:

    @TXG1112:

    Believe it our not, much of NJ is pretty rural.

    NJ’s the most densely populated state in America.

    If NJ’s mostly rural, than what does that make the rest of America?

  40. 40
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    Bloomington, IN. I am now retired for just over one year.

    But prior to that, for the last 15 years, I lived on the north edge of town. I drove in every morning to my job at the Athletics complex of Indiana University.

    It was a terrible, stressful six minutes and 55 seconds of furious rush quarter hour driving. (Rush quarter hour. Get it? Actually, it may last more like 20 minutes or more now.)

    Actually, it was rather pleasant, I exaggerated above.

    During the last six months, as I wound things down, I would even ride the city bus many times just for fun and the walk up to the bus stop near our house, and it stopped right in front of the Athletics complex for me to get out walk across the lot to Assembly Hall to work. It took all of 20 – 25 minutes.

    Which goes to explain why living in a university town with around 50,000 inhabitants in the whole county when the university is in regular session goes a long way to explaining why we carefully chose to flee living in large cities (the last one before here was Nashville, TN) over 25 years ago.

    A decision in quality of life we have NEVER regretted.

    I drove in today to visit with former staff members and colleagues for a while. The 6:55 drive meant I had to shut off Pat Metheny’s “The Truth Will Ever Be” from his classic “Secret Story” album just at the climactic end.

    Here, go to YouTube, listen, and after just over seven minutes, you will feel better about being alive than before. Trust me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6qSJtwT3qI

    There is more to life than wasting it in traffic jams. Something I am glad we realized nearly three decades ago.

  41. 41
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: I’m considering one of the 2 fishing trips that leaves at 2:30 am!

  42. 42
    Raven says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: I’ve lived in Urbana, Il and Athens GA since 1969.

  43. 43
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: I can’t wait until the Seattle – LA run is finally completed. That will be a nice cruise down, especially if they route it where I think they will and it goes down the coast of Oregon and northern California. But even in the mountains the scenery is just gorgeous. Hopefully the final stop north will be Vancouver. That A) makes economic sense and B) would be great fun.

  44. 44
    Kane says:

    As far back as I can remember, rail transit has been an issue in Hawaii. There have been countless studies, contentious City Council votes, protests, lawsuits, and all the rest. Way back in the early 1970s, there was a plan for a 29 mile rail route, but it was vetoed because it was said that the $1 million price tag was too much. The current planned rail project is a 20-mile elevated rail line with projected costs in the billions. It remains a political issue in this election.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven:

    Yea, and food and fishing and a frickin wedding at the Grand Wailea. That’s after buying the airline ticket and having to pay $140 to pick a goddamn seat. But I am happy with the Kamole Sands rental for now.

    Going for a friend’s wedding this October. Probably going to go out early and get some downtime.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Y U no love the Atrios??

  47. 47
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    I have driving habits developed on that stretch of road that have left passengers from 3 continents white knuckled.

    128. Meh. Maybe familiarity breeds contempt (rush hour shoulder becomes travel lane, yo) but I nearly peed my pants in a 15-passenger van being driven by a crazy New Yorker on the inter-borough expressway.

    And the interstate through Atlanta is a special circle of hell that no Massachusetts highway, not even Storrow Drive in the 1980’s with the hidden/missing road signs, could put a finger on.

  48. 48
    TXG1112 says:

    @gene108: Empty. :)

    Once you get an hour outside of New York City, NJ is mostly farm land like Pensylvania. Southern NJ is horse farms and cranberry bogs. NJ has a high average density because parts of it are very dense. Guttenburg, in Hudson count is the densest population in the country at around 57k per sq mi.

  49. 49
    TXG1112 says:

    @gene108: Empty. :)

    Once you get an hour outside of New York City, NJ is mostly farmland like Pennsylvania. Southern NJ is horse farms and cranberry bogs. NJ has a high average density because parts of it are very dense. Guttenburg, in Hudson county has the densest population of any municipality in the country at around 57k per sq mi. Several western and southern NJ counties have densities around 300 people per sq. mi.

  50. 50
    Mike in NC says:

    Oahu was an amazing vacation spot, but the high cost of living and traffic congestion were something you noticed right away.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike in NC: Hawai’i also has (gasp!) an employer health insurance mandate. Basically if you work over 20 hours your employer has to provide health insurance period. My birth state was doing it rite even back then. It wouldn’t shock me if after the election they were the next to go full-on universal health care. A lot of the structure already exists there as it is.

  52. 52
    Tommy D says:

    Honolulu is a Big City with a nice beach. Go to Kauai. Or Molokai.

  53. 53
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re making me miss Hawaii (though we went to Kauai, not Maui). We really loved it there—strange as it sounds, it had a very Midwestern feel (friendly but not overly familiar people) with the perfect weather you never get in the Midwest.

    A lot of the white Americans who moved to Hawaii were Midwestern Protestants (missionaries, farmers, etc.) and/or Californians (who were themselves often descended from Midwesterners). Hawaii doesn’t have a history of ethnic/Catholic Irish, Italian, Polish etc. immigration from Europe, which is why the non-native population has more of a Midwestern feel.

  54. 54
    louc says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:
    Yet it’s perfectly ok to set up unsightly oil rigs off the coasst.

  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    For the life of me, there is no way to explain the RW opposition to mass transit in any terms other than cleek’s formulation.

    Speaking locally, the problems are 1)Bad Bad Contracting for a system 2)That doesn’t really help because 3)The ‘Light Rail’ is being setup where heavy rail is actually needed and 4)isn’t hitting the major traffic slowdown areas…like UH Manoa, take away the college cars and its actually fairly quick. The Problem is when you have everyone going to work and home again at the same 2 hour stretch that it gets backlogged, and that’s before accidents and breakdowns.

    Also, short term the construction will make traffic worse for a few years…which rallies opposition, hell we are still are fighting over the next garbage landfill over here.

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    Also, both the proposed rail system and the failed superferry (and H-3, actually), are/were opposed by the right and the left but for different reasons.

    Actually Superferry failed because Governor Lingle(R), one of the most corrupt and incompetent governors (though sadly, not the worst) overrode an environmental impact study on the Ferry and it got shut down by the court. And considering that we now have Texas fireants in Kaui and bee parasites on the Big Island, ignoring that kind of danger is not something we take kindly to here.

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Too shticky.

  58. 58
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @NotMax:

    Loophole in interstate highway funding allows for roads which along their route connect military bases, something Oahu has aplenty.

    it’s not a loophole, that was the whole purpose of the Interstate Highway system, from the beginning. Look up the “Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956”.

  59. 59
    Katharsis says:

    @Tokyokie: <-This!

    Also with all those military bases they subsidize all who get stationed there to bring their cars over. I was one of them. That's a lot of bachelors who are not car pooling. Luckily when you change command, or get discharged, your car goes with you. But a few like it so much there that they stay.

    And while there are three interstate highways, the majority of the population is just using H1 that covers the island(Oahu) east to west. Hawaii is made up of seven islands, but damn near everyone lives on just the one island Oahu.

    Ditto for whoever said most of the jobs are in Honolulu. I would add that tourism is also high there as well.

    I've been telling people about this for years. Hawaii has the most god awful traffic I've ever seen. Once during the Nov-Dec christmas shopping season(I lived fairly close to a mall), I had to drop off a buddy of mine in Pearl Harbor, during rush (3) hour traffic (3p-6p). The drive from Aiea — the only city in the nation spelled entirely with vowels, Hawaii LOVES their vowels making half the streets unpronounceable if your new to the place — to PH took 20min. The drive back took an HOUR and 20min. Not joking. This was back in 2004.

  60. 60
    burritoboy says:

    A big part of Southern New Jersey is a giant, largely uninhabited area called the Pine Barrens, which is a mix of bogs, swamps and wetlands. The soil is very poor, so it’s difficult to farm.

  61. 61
    fbihop says:

    Have a friend who lives in Honolulu; didn’t own a car for the first few years there, took the bus and rode his bike everywhere.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    A lot of the white Americans who moved to Hawaii were Midwestern Protestants (missionaries, farmers, etc.) and/or Californians (who were themselves often descended from Midwesterners). Hawaii doesn’t have a history of ethnic/Catholic Irish, Italian, Polish etc. immigration from Europe, which is why the non-native population has more of a Midwestern feel.

    I don’t know about that — I’m from the “ethnic/Catholic” part of Illinois, and we’re pretty Midwestern. And I was talking about the locals we interacted with, who were mostly at least part Asian.

    I think Yutsy and I had a conversation about it one time on here, but there does seem to be a fair number of similarities between the two regional cultures, though probably for different reasons. I think there’s a certain amount of reserve that’s common to, say, Americans of Scandinavian descent and Americans of Asian descent that could make the cultures develop in similar ways.

    I don’t really know, though. I guess I’ll just have to go back so we can explore it further.
    :-)

  63. 63
    trollhattan says:

    Have to say not only is Oahu traffic awful, so are the drivers. Have not been there for awhile but they were killing themselves and each other at an alarming rate the last time I was. And let me add, you do not want the subcompact rental unless you have giant steel balls and a deathwish.

  64. 64
    palolololo says:

    I’ve lived in Honolulu since 1968, and they were discussing mass transit at that time. Fast forward 40+ years and we’re still talking about it. They have started some digging,but the system is steel wheels on steel rails in a salt air environment, elevated along most of the route,blocking view planes everywhere it is going. Although the route has been changed several times, and may change again. It doesn’t connect the airport with Waikiki. There is minimal seating on the cars. The financial numbers have been fudged for years. But the biggest issue is upkeep. Hawaii doesn’t do infrastructure. Never has. And this train is budgeted at almost 6 BILLION dollars. So far.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @palolololo:

    I’ve lived in Honolulu since 1968

    Is it awesome?

  66. 66
    Arclite says:

    The traffic can be bad here. I once drove a friend from downtown to Waikiki, a two mile drive. It took an hour.

    Rail is probably the wrong idea. The train is projected to cost $5B, or about $5000 for each Oahu resident. That’s just too expensive.

    We have a great bus system already, it just needs to be expanded. To insulate from fuel price shocks and transition off of diesel, hybrid buses or electric buses that run off of overhead wires on transoms would be better.

  67. 67
    LanceThruster says:

    On the topic of difficult traffic, I made this observation of what it was like immediately following 9/11 –

    I live in So Cal and commute to downtown LA, and have for over 20+ years. For *exactly* a day and a half (the same amount of time the air stays smog free after a good rain), the normally selfish and inattentive motorists drove in manner virtually unseen before or since. Over that two day period, they actually showed noticeable consideration and no longer drove oblivious to those around them, not caring
    who they cut off or didn’t let in or honked at for going too slow, or not getting out of the way fast enough…they treated the other drivers as fellow Americans that were also possibly traumatized or numb and that the default position might be that they would appreciate a random act of kindness from a stranger who might just cut another person a break for no other reason than they thought the
    anonymous person could use one.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Yes. And also somewhat no.

    Even at the time (and, yes, I was around then) that was regarded as somewhat of a fig-leaf rationale giving Congress national security cover when passing and funding the bill.

    Somewhat more prominent (at least among the circles I experienced) was the notion that it was a federally-financed boon to automakers (and consequently to steel, rubber and other concerns) and also to the Teamsters.

    Case in point: Charlie Wilson’s (president of GM and then Ike’s Sec. of Defense beginning in ’53) statement about what was good for General Motors being good for the U.S.A., and vice-versa.

    Regardless, as none of the interstates in Hawaii do (nor can) connect with any other state, nor with any other road which lies in another state, I think my point of “contrary to what one would think” stands.

  69. 69
    Wallace says:

    Traffic isn’t bad everywhere here on Oahu. The problem is they built a lot of new houses on the west side of the island (the Ewa side – kind of looks like Irvine now), but any road from the west into downtown gets bottle-necked between the mountains and the ocean when you get to Pearl Harbor. It’s that drive between downtown and the west side of the island that is terrible during rush hour. The drives east (to Hawaii Kai) and north (to Kailua) aren’t great, but they wouldn’t make a “10 Worst” list.

  70. 70
    lostinube says:

    Trying to go up the Pali during rush hour in a problematic car gave me enough stress that I started leaving for work an hour early just to avoid becoming the guy everyone is calling in to Perry and Price for traffic reports.

  71. 71
    Linkmeister says:

    @lostinube: Oh, THAT guy!

    (Pearlridge resident for 30+ years now)

  72. 72
    lostinube says:

    Whoops again. I meant the guy people were calling in about.

    I grew up and lived on the Windward side (went to UH). Living in Japan now.

    For the record, I never willingly listened to KSSK.

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