Blocking shoulder lane is illegal
At the H-1 freeway Waialae Avenue offramp, Koko Head-bound, cars typically move to the shoulder to queue during peak hours, presumably as a courtesy to allow traffic in the right-most lane to continue to move. At 8 a.m. April 3, a motorcycle officer was pulling queued cars over and very loudly and aggressively chastising drivers for being in the "emergency lane." ("This lane is for emergency vehicles only. ... You don't look like a cop to me!") In addition to being irritated at his unprofessional and bullying demeanor (unworthy of one of "Honolulu's finest"), I am wondering what the law says about cars queuing in the shoulder. If this is illegal but everyone continues to do so, how can a driver legally stay in the through lane yet be able to merge off the freeway?
Answer: It would seem to be the logical thing to do when traffic is heavy, but lining up in the offramp shoulder lane is illegal except in an emergency, such as for lane closures or traffic obstructions, according to the Honolulu Police Department.
"Lately, officers have noticed that more drivers are using the emergency lane at the Waialae offramp," said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu.
That prompted the warnings.
"In this case the officer was warning drivers of the violation," Yu said, adding that the officer did not issue citations or redirect the cars, "since doing so would have created an additional traffic hazard."
The word from HPD is that drivers just should line up in the right lane heading to the offramp, but we could not get a direct answer on how that would happen if other drivers are already lined up along the shoulder.
Yu said if the solo bike officer "was rude or unprofessional," you should call Lt. Gordon Shiraishi of the Traffic Division at 529-3484.
Q: What can we do when our neighbors' property is overgrown and they won't do anything about it? We've had problems with rats and black ants, which we've traced to our neighbors. It's not only a nuisance and health issue, but it might cost us money to hire an exterminator, not to mention devaluing our property.
A: Call the city Housing Code Section at 768-8159.*
Under the Housing Code (Chapter 27 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu), inspectors can cite a homeowner for violations of "inadequate sanitation" because of "infestation of insects, vermin or rodents, as determined by the health officer," or for having "hazardous or unsanitary premises" because of "an accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk, dead organic matter, debris, garbage, offal, rat harborages, stagnant water, combustible materials and similar materials or conditions (that) constitute fire, health or safety hazards."
To the city's maintenance crew for responding to my call to pick up dead cats hit by motorists on Makakilo Drive. The last call was on Friday, and they took action right away. -- No Name
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The city is converting to an improved telephone system. New numbers are being issued and directories are being updated. Instead of the number we listed in Thursday's Kokua Line, the new number for the Housing Code Section is 768-8159.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers