Monday, May 10, 1999


By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
The speed limit in an area of the Pali highway drops
suddenly from 45 to 35 miles per hour.

Highway pacesetters

How DO they set the speed limits on highways?

The reason this came up is because the Windward side of both the Pali and H-3 highways have short stretches where the speed limit suddenly drops; on H-3 from 55 to 45, and on Pali from 45 to 35 -- and then the speed limit suddenly jumps back up. Even the tunnels are rated at full speed.

Speed trap? Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. These stretches make the average motorist balance whether to chance getting a speeding ticket for going along with the flow of traffic, or risk getting rear-ended because you're riding on the brakes to uphold the law. Decisions, decisions.

According to Department of Transportation spokesperson Marilyn Kali, the speed limits predate the highway. It all has to do with "sight lines."

"The highways curve around corners in those areas," said Kali. "It's just a formula for safe driving that's already set. You have to have a certain amount of forward visibility to drive. The shorter the distance you can see ahead, the slower the speed limit. It takes a certain distance to stop a car, and the faster you're going, the longer and farther it takes. The shape of the hills in those areas essentially predetermined the speed limits that could be set there."

Got that? Think about the last time you slammed on the brake pedal because of some surprise lurking around a blind corner. Like an officer with a laser speed detector.

Burl Burlingame, Star-Bulletin


The Search for Signs of
Hawaiian Life in the Universe

By Art Freedman
Isle style in Michigan: Honolulu artist Art Freedman
snapped a shot of Danish friend Jette Kirstan on the steps of the
"Honolulu House" in Marshall, Mich. "It's the main tourist
attraction in Marshall, a town of about 7,000," reports
Freedman. "It's supposed to be a recreation of the home
occupied in Honolulu by the U.S. consul, who became
a Michigan supreme court judge. It was built in 1860."

The Search for Signs of Hawaiian Life in the Universe is just that -- we're looking for eveidence of Hawaiiana everywhere but Hawaii. Send snapshots and a description to TSFSOHLITU, Today Department, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, or e-mail JPEGS or TIFFs to


Architect Giurgola to speak

Romaldo Giurgola, the architect who transformed Canberra's Parliament building in Australia into a kind of soaring hillscape, will speak on the subject of "Architecture as Craftsmanship" at 6 p.m. Monday at Luke Auditorium, Punahou School.

Giurgola moved from New York to Canberra more than a decade ago for this particular project, and stayed. The New Parliament House, completed in 1988, is a million-and-a-half square feet of public structure and is one of Giurgola's most commented-on works because of its monumental size. Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, for example, has said the building was his one serious political mistake.

Giurgola, though, speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last year, said the design principles were based on "clarity of expression and form. People like the clarity of the building, its lighting and relationship to the landscape."

He said the people of Australia own the building, and that politicians who work there are "guests." He also suggested politicians use the front door and eat in the public dining room more often.

The outspoken Giurgola is a recipient of Gold Medals from the American Institute of Architects.

The talk is free, and there are refreshments afterwards. Information: 545-4242.

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