Monday, June 21, 1999


By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Tourists brought in by limousine take in the spectacular view
of Honolulu from Round Top Drive. Neighbors say limousines
shuttling visitors to the area block traffic and
cause damage to the road.

Too many tourists
upset Round Top

City and state agencies are
discussing ways to alleviate
the traffic

By Leila Fujimori


The view from Round Top Drive at night is spectacular.

But many residents aren't pleased with what they're seeing -- a steady stream of stretch limousines, vans and buses full of tourists traveling along the road to reach a lookout.

"They pretty much command Round Top Drive between 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.," said Kathy James, who lives half a mile below the lookout. "We make a game out of it. We can count up to 14 limos within 20 minutes of each other."

When residents get stuck behind the procession of tour vehicles, James said, it can take three to four times as long to get home.

The major problem, though, is at the lookout. Thirty-foot limousines often block a full lane on the two-lane street. And when they turn around, they block a lane of traffic.

Bill Higdon, who lives on Round Top Drive just below the Manoa overlook, complains of discourteous drivers who fail to yield to residents. Drivers must stop and wait for oncoming limousines as they make wide turns on the narrow, curved road with hairpin turns.

"They'll stop at points of interest and block you to keep you from passing where the road is narrower," Higdon said.

Residents say the heavy vehicles and excessive traffic also cause more wear and tear on the road, creating potholes. The city last week sent in a crew to repave the road.

But Higdon is angry because tour companies are not paying to maintain the road, and believes the city's roadwork is shoddy.

Some residents are channeling their frustration into action. John Steelquist, chairman of the Makiki-Lower Punchbowl-Tantalus neighborhood board, said community members have helped propose solutions, including diagonal striping for parking at the lookout, keeping nearby Pu'uualakaa State Park -- where the view is good and parking is available -- open after 6 p.m., and shuttling tourists.

Sen. Carol Fukunaga has been heading the community effort to solve the problems, along with Councilman Andy Mirikitani. The board has been working on the issue for about a year.

A month ago, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism formed a task force composed of city and state agencies, residents, limousine and tour companies as well as district legislators.

"We came up with a set of recommendations," Fukunaga said.

The city and state agencies are now discussing costs and the feasibility of the ideas.

Despite the traffic concerns, residents recognize the importance of tourism and are willing to accommodate it.

"Residents do want to support tourists," the senator said.

Said resident Harry Kaneta: "I'm not against them coming up. They're our bread and butter."

"We're going to try to work together," he said.


Roadwork planned for the week:


Ewa Beach

Farrington Highway, Piliokoe Bridge to vicinity of Aliinui Drive; Fort Weaver Road from Farrington Highway to Hanakahi Street.


Ehu, Hakeakea and Waapuhi streets.


Kaukamana Street to St. John's Road; Kulaaupuni Street from Ohiohi Place to Kaukamana Street; Kaukamana Street; and Farrington Highway at Maliona Street.



Haleiwa Bypass Road; and Helemano-Waialua Junction to Haleiwa Beach Park.



Kunia and Fort Weaver roads near the Kunia Interchange; Kupuna Loop to Farrington Highway; the H-1 Freeway Ramps 5, 5A and 5B and other Kunia Interchange on-ramps; and H-1, vicinity of Kunia IC.


Kilani Avenue from Holoku Place to Ilima Street; Whitmore Avenue from Kamehameha Highway to Military Gate; and Mala Street.


Mililani Interchange.


Kahuamoku Place; Kipou Street from Hulahe to Honowai street; Honowai Street from Kipou to Hoaeae streets; Hoaeae Street from Honowai Street to near the Hoaeae Pumping Station.


Waipahu Street to Waiawa Road.


H-1, Waimalu Viaduct to Halawa Interchange.


Farrington Highway, Leoole to Awanui streets; Paiwa to Leoku streets; and Pupupuhi Street to Waikele Road.



Moanalua Freeway ramps; vicinity of Ala Kapuna to Ala Napunani; South and North Frontage roads; and Moanalua Road intersection from Kaahumanu Street to Moanalua Loop.


Makuahine and Kalihi streets; Dillingham Boulevard between Waiakamilo Road and North King Street; Kamanaiki Street from Violet to Laulani streets; and Moani, Laulani, Puolani, Noe and Pahulu streets.


Liliha Street from North King Street to Vineyard Boulevard.


Nioilupa Drive; Kaohinani Drive from Kimo to Pelekane drives; Kahawalu Drive between Kaohinani and Niolopua drives; Dowsett Avenue to Hinalo Place; Pali Highway from Country Club Road to the tunnel entrance, including both roads to Lookout; Kimo Drive bridge; and Old Pali Road.


Keawe Street on Ala Moana, South and Queen streets, and Nimitz Highway and River Street to end at Hotel Street; and Coral Street from Ala Moana to Auahi Street.


Star Road from Kanealii Avenue to end.


Round Top and Tantalus drives; and Lewalani Drive from Clio Street to Wilder Avenue.


University Avenue and South King Street intersection; and Kahoaloha Lane from Kuilei Lane to South King Street.


Keanu Street between 8th Avenue and Sierra Drive; and 9th and 10th avenues between Keanu Street and Waialae Avenue.


Spreckels Street.

St. Louis Heights

St. Louis Drive between Bertram and Oswald streets.


Kealaolu Avenue Road from Leahala to Waialae avenues.


Kalakaua Avenue; and Ohua to Kuhio avenues.



Keala, Kawaipapa and Puuowaa roads; and Waikulama Street.


Ililani Street from Mokapu Boulevard to Iliwahi Loop; Iliwahi Loop from Ilimano to Ilimano streets; Iliaina Street from Ililani Street to Iliwahi Loop and from Ilihau Street to end; Ilikaa Place; Kalaheo Avenue; and Kainui Drive.


Flamingo and Ahiki streets; Kaaiai Street from Huli to Nakini streets; and Kumuhau Street from Waikupanaha to Mahailua streets.


Keaahala Road from Anoi Road to Keaahala Place; and Kahekili Highway at Likelike Highway.


Hawaii Kai

Kalanianaole Highway from Nawiliwili Street to Sandy Beach Park entrance; and Hanauma Bay to Sandy Beach.


Kewalo Holy Ghost Procession

10 a.m. Sunday, from Kewalo Holy Ghost Grounds on Queen Street to Ward Avenue and back via Halekauwila and Cooke streets.

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