State to deploy tow trucks in ‘09 to clear rush-hour jams
What ever happened to the plan by Gov. Linda Lingle to send out tow trucks to assist stalled vehicles along the freeways during rush-hour traffic? I don't believe this ever got started, did it?
Answer: It never got started, but the Demonstration Freeway Service Patrol project is now expected to take to the road along the H-1 and Moanalua freeways next year.
Your question is timely because the contractor for a two-year pilot project was only recently selected, said Tammy Mori, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
A $3.8 million contract has been awarded to Telvent Farradyne: $400,000 for program development costs over the next five months, including purchase of equipment, training drivers, etc.; and $1.7 million for each year of the project.
"If all goes according to plan, it should be up and running in early 2009," Mori said.
Initial plans call for the tow trucks to be out from 5 to 7 a.m. weekdays, although the routes and times could be adjusted, Mori said.
When we last wrote about this three years ago ("Kokua Line," Aug. 8, 2005), the proposed project to have roving tow trucks help stalled motorists on the H-1 and Moanalua freeways was on hold because of a legal protest by Stoneridge Recoveries Inc.
Stoneridge was challenging the Transportation Department's evaluation criteria for selecting a contractor, arguing that they were unreasonable and unduly restrictive. However, a state administrative hearings officer concluded that Stoneridge failed to prove its case.
Q: What is the procedure for obtaining a state disability parking pass? Where can I get the forms? I need to apply for one for my mother.
A: You can get information about how to obtain a disability parking permit (evidenced by a hanging placard or license plate) -- as well as to download an application -- on the Web site of the state Disability and Communication Access Board, hawaii.gov/health/dcab/parking.
You also can call the board at 586-8121 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. On Oahu, applications are available at and may be taken to the city Department of Customer Services or any satellite city hall. Call 532-7710 for information on locations.
The foremost requirement for a permit is to have a licensed practicing physician verify your mother's disability, which has to be a mobility impairment: unable to walk 200 feet because of a diagnosed arthritic, neurological, renal, orthopedic or oncological condition; need assistance from a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair, etc., or another person; restricted by lung disease; need to use portable oxygen; restricted by a cardiovascular disease.
Applicants must apply in person for the first placard or a replacement placard, unless a physician verifies that the applicant cannot do so.
If that's your mother's case, you may bring in the application.
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 email@example.com
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