Traffic calming device is designed to handle buses
I noticed that the traffic circle at Keeaumoku and Heulu streets in Makiki does not leave enough room for the bus. The No. 17 actually has to drive over the circle with its left wheels to get through the intersection. Surely that was not part of the "traffic calming" plan.
Answer: Yes, it was.
The island has a low curb for that very reason.
We asked Wayne Yoshioka, director of the city Department of Transportation Services, if he could explain the intent of the "traffic calming device" and how it was designed.
He said the traffic island at Keeaumoku/Heula was designed to allow passenger vehicles to negotiate the circle at the "desired lower speeds," but this meant larger vehicles are not able to make the turn within the pavement area.
"Therefore, the traffic circle was designed to have larger vehicles, such as transit buses, large emergency vehicles and refuse collection vehicles drive over the edge of the circle," Yoshioka said.
Meanwhile, pavers within the traffic circle are structurally designed to handle the load of the large vehicles, he said.
As for the "desired lower speeds," although the speed limit on adjacent streets is 25 mph, the city generally wants a traffic circle speed between 15 and 20 mph.
"In the case of Keeaumoku/Heulu, the design speed is 15 mph," Yoshioka said.
We asked if there were any statistics to show whether the traffic circle at Keeaumoku/Heula actually does discourage speeding.
Yoshioka said there were no such figures, but "anecdotal information indicates the traffic circle has addressed previous concerns regarding vehicles speeding through this intersection."
"Traffic circles" are used in lower-volume roadways to slow vehicles.
The term "roundabout," meanwhile, refers to traffic islands typically used at intersections where there is heavier traffic, Yoshioka explained. They also are larger in diameter.
For the article about supporting troops with ties to Hawaii ("Kokua Line," May 12). I was very moved by it all. Please pass on to those island folks that everyone from Hawaii over here in Iraq sends their mahalos. I retired from Camp Smith in 2005 and have been here since then as a civilian contractor. -- Efrem F. Williams, director of communications, Special Forces Command
To whoever crashed into the back of our parked SUV at 8:10 p.m. Saturday, May 3, in Hauula and fled as soon as we went outside. Typical of a person who doesn't take responsibility, you probably don't have car insurance. But, we must now pay the deductible, and our insurance policy will probably go up. The cost to repair has come in around $12,000. I held hopes that you would return to do the right thing. I was wrong. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. -- No Name
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