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Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Residents applaud
Leeward commute plan

By Mary Adamski

A city plan that would use dedicated freeway lanes and ramps to smooth and speed up commuting between Honolulu and Leeward Oahu has won the approval of West Oahu residents.

Speakers from the Leeward community last night focused on the Bus Rapid-Transit alternative among three prospects proposed in the Primary Corridor Transportation Project.

"It looks like a real-world, buildable, affordable plan," said Dan Davidson of the Land Use Research Foundation. "It's nice to see something that looks possible. We've been down the other road."

"It is the best alternative for our community," said Maeda Timson, chairwoman of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board. "Besides fast, efficient service, it's environment-friendly and preserves the open spaces of Leeward Oahu."

Twenty-five people attended the Kapolei informational hearing of the City Council Transportation Committee, the first of several on the environmental impact statement on the plan to handle traffic through 2025.

Under the plan, the H-1 freeway ZipLane, now open for eastbound multi-passenger vehicles during morning rush hour, would be extended from Kapolei to Middle Street and would become two-way and all-day in the effort to lure riders from their vehicles.

A high-capacity, electric-powered transit system of step-on buses would continue the commuter track to downtown, Waikiki and the University of Hawaii, with lanes on main thoroughfares dedicated to the system.

Other hearings are scheduled:

Bullet Oct. 5: Hawaii Convention Center.

Bullet Oct. 12: Blaisdell Center exhibition hall.

Bullet Oct. 18: Waimalu Elementary School.

E-mail to City Desk

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