Small changes add up to relieve city traffic
The City Council has passed two resolutions directed at easing Oahu's traffic jams.
RESOLUTIONS approved by the City Council have no weight of law and might receive little or no attention from officials or programs to which they are directed.
Yet they do express objectives of elected officials, and the two the Council adopted 7-0 this week are cases in point. While members acknowledge the resolutions are simply statements of their wishes, they hope that, at the least, policymakers take notice.
They should. The Council's modest proposals are aimed at lessening Oahu's terrible traffic jams, which no one disputes will only get worse. Despite the city's elaborate, expensive plans for mass transit, the system will be a long time in coming.
The resolutions ask that the city and state allow more government employees, who make up a large segment of morning and evening commuters, to start and end their work shifts earlier or later and for the University of Hawaii-Manoa to adjust class schedules to cut the number of students from rush-hour travel.
As expected, officials and others who would be affected by such changes are saying they can't be done or won't make much of a difference.
But doing nothing isn't an option. And with traffic, there is no single silver bullet. Even mass transit proponents concede a system won't alleviate traffic jams.
City and state leaders, major employers such as hotels and shopping centers, and labor unions should collectively look for solutions. They don't have to be grand schemes. They include cutting or eliminating fares for riding TheBus, which the Council is considering, designating buses and routes for public schools students and teachers, banning cars from roads at certain hours, and changing work shifts and class schedules.
These suggestions might have snags, but there are ways to get around them. The biggest roadblock to traffic solutions, however, is refusing to find them.
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