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Improvements under way on Kamehameha Highway


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POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

QUESTION: What ever happened to the Kamehameha Highway Improvements Project that was supposed have started earlier this year? Have they begun work?

ANSWER: The project began in June and currently involves installing fencing along median strips and infrastructure work for traffic signals.

Work will continue until early 2011.

The $8 million project came about after a task force was organized in 2005 to identify short- and long-term projects to improve Kamehameha Highway from Waihona Street (near Sam's Club in Pearl City) to Center Drive (near Hickam Air Force Base).

It involved the state Department of Transportation, city Department of Transportation Services, elected officials and members of the community.

“;The goal of the project is to make traffic, safety and aesthetic improvements while still maintaining a sense of culture and place,”; said transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

The project will include installing median fencing to prevent illegal midblock pedestrian crossing, pedestrian countdown signals, underground fiber optics to better synchronize traffic signals, and modernizing five intersections, she said.

For more information check the project Web site at www.kamehamehahighwayimprovements.org. You can get weekly updates and advisories on roadwork at that site or at www.hawaii.gov/dot/highways/roadwork.

QUESTION: I live on Coolidge Street in Moiliili, where street parking is at a premium. On Saturday, Aug. 29, the Saint Louis Alumni Association reserved one side of Coolidge from South King Street to Date Street and both sides of Isenberg Street from South King to Date. The day before, they posted signs stating, “;No Parking from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.”; We thought the city put those out because they were going to do some much-needed roadwork. But we noticed there was a function at the Alumni Association clubhouse, and they were monitoring and parking on the “;reserved”; streets. Do they have the right and power to displace others from parking on a public street? It caused a minor inconvenience to many living in the area.

ANSWER: The association did obtain a permit from the city Department of Transportation Services to reserve those parking spaces on Aug. 29.

On that day the association held a reunion banquet for all Interscholastic League of Honolulu football players from 1940 to 1959 (during those years, players came from various private and public schools).

To minimize the traffic impact and take a “;proactive approach”; to dealing with any traffic congestion caused by the event, the association asked to restrict parking along Coolidge Street to allow loading and unloading, said Department of Transportation Services official Ty Fukumitsu.

After consulting with the association, the department agreed with “;their proactive traffic proposal”; and issued a street usage permit restricting parking along Coolidge and Isenberg streets.

As a result, Fukumitsu said, vehicles loading or unloading did not have to double park and block the travel lanes on Coolidge or Isenberg.

The association agreed to monitor the area for permit compliance, he said.

The street usage permit also required the association to post “;No Parking “; signs a minimum of 24 hours in advance.