Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Maui County

Maui mayor
plans road fixes

Using $1.6 million, Valley Isle
attempts to alleviate
traffic woes

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> Maui County Mayor James "Kimo" Apana wants to spend about $1.6 million for short-term solutions to lessen traffic slowdowns on the Valley Isle, including the proposed widening of the state's Piilani Highway in south Maui from two to four lanes.

The state highway currently has space designated for pedestrians and bicyclists on both sides of the highway.

Apana said under the plan, the path for bicyclists and pedestrians would be moved makai to a less busy north-south collector road.

The traffic plan, developed by the Mayor's Transportation Action Committee, was unveiled yesterday.

Committee members developed the plan after holding a series of islandwide public hearings and receiving testimony from about 600 residents.

The proposed widening of Piilani will cost an estimated $4.4 million, with the county paying $1 million, the state $3 million and the development industry $400,000.

The plan also calls for connecting the future state Upcountry/Kihei Highway with a new bypass highway mauka of Piilani Highway.

Councilman Alan Arakawa said most major roads in the plan are not within the county's jurisdiction and that unfortunately, the state has control of the major highways and the long-term planning for Maui.

"What we're doing is quick fixes," Arakawa said.

For the Kahului-Wailuku area, the committee recommended staggering school hours and connecting Waiale Drive to Mahalani Street, the corridor leading to Maui Memorial Medical Center and Maui Police Department.

The committee recommended building a "mini bypass" in Paia that would start near the new parking lot on the Kahului side of the town and connect with Baldwin Avenue above the U.S. Post Office.

Apana said he supported the committee's recommendation to assign someone to oversee traffic issues and to conduct a study to develop a formula for traffic impact fees to spread the cost of road development.

The mayor said the study will determine who should be assessed the fees.

Maui County

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