Piikoi and Pensacola reversal on hold
: What ever happened to plans on reversing the traffic flow on Piikoi and Pensacola streets?
Answer: Plans to reverse the two one-way streets have been shelved for now.
Piikoi Street was made a one-way street heading mauka and Pensacola Street one-way heading makai in 1970. Since then there has been a debate about whether to reverse the streets.
In 2005 the top transportation officials from the city and state met to discuss whether to reverse the flow of the parallel streets.
The discussion centered around easing traffic headed toward H-1 freeway's Lunalilo onramp. During the afternoon rush hour, cars stack up on Piikoi and Lunalilo streets as they attempt to enter the freeway headed west.
Modification costs were estimated at about $800,000 in 2005. When the reversal was discussed with the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization in 2006, the estimate went up to about $4 million for modifications.
The proposal also met with some community backlash. John Breinich, then chairman of the Ala Moana/Kakaako Neighborhood Board, said he feared the traffic would only get worse with the reversal.
"If you reverse this, cars will then stack on Pensacola to get on the freeway," he said in 2004. "The stacking will be much longer because you don't have that Lunalilo stretch."
"When the reversal was discussed with the planning organization, Rod Haraga, who was then director of the state Department of Transportation, said the project would benefit many East Honolulu residents.
The project was moved to the 2016-2030 time period of the organization's Oahu Regional Transportation Plan.
As of today the state and city transportation officials have not conducted a study regarding the reversal's impact.
This update was written by Gene Park.
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