to the Editor

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Tuesday, January 29, 2002

It's premature to halt traffic-cam demo

A lot of frustration and anger has been vented against the photo speed enforcement demonstration project being conducted by the state Department of Transportation. State legislators are now thinking of eliminating this project or raising speed limits.

Before we take further action, let's remember that this is a demonstration project. If we find out that photo speed enforcement causes drivers to drive slower and makes our streets safer, why would we not want to expand this program, or even make it permanent? Does anyone question the heightened security at our airports to make air travel safer?

Since the DOT began this project, I have noticed a significant reduction in the speed of vehicles traveling on the Pali Highway in Nuuanu, where the posted speed limit is 35 mph. Vehicle speeds averaged 45 to 50 mph-plus before the project began. Vehicle speeds now average 35 to 40 mph.

Many of the accidents on the Pali Highway in Nuuanu are attributed to vehicles being broadsided as they turn on or off the highway. I will not be surprised if there is a significant reduction in accidents as a result of this project.

Let's all keep an open mind. This is a demonstration that has just begun. Any discussion to eliminate this project or to raise speed limits is premature.

Westley K.C. Chun

Left-lane hogs are the dangerous drivers

The biggest safety problem on H-3 is the car operator (I can't consider him or her a "driver") who insists on driving slower than the prevailing rate of speed in the left (passing) lane.

These people might think they're being safe because they're driving 50 mph in the left lane and never changing lanes, but they are a hazard. They cause the faster drivers to weave in and out of traffic. They cause many drivers to assume everyone who is in the left lane is planning to stay there, so those drivers attempt to pass a car on the right at the same time a driver is attempting to move to the right lane where he or she belongs.

They cause other drivers to become impatient, which progresses to road rage in some instances, because they often end up blocking the highway when they happen to match up with the speed of a right-lane slow driver.

In the past several years I've seen several near-collisions and a couple of scrapes because of these left-lane car operators. The cameras aren't going to solve this problem, but an actual policeman enforcing the traffic laws and a better driver education program might.

Dwayne Eldridge


"I'm not in politics for any gain. I'm in it to advocate for women, children and senior citizens."

Ann Kobayashi

Newly elected City Councilwoman for District 5, which includes Manoa, Makiki, Moiliili and McCully. Kobayashi is filling the seat vacated by Andy Mirikitani, who resigned in December after being convicted of extortion.

"It's open as far as I'm concerned."

Taj Mahelic

Sixteen-year-old skateboarder who returned to a newly built ramp at Keolu Hills Neighborhood Park in Kailua after he and about 25 other skateboarders and bicyclists were shooed away by police. The skateboard park is due to open sometime in February, after the surface material is treated with a sealant. One police officer said they don't really have problem with the skateboarders, but are obliged to respond to neighbors' complaints.

Research needed to justify speed cameras

It has not been established that those caught speeding in Hawaii with these cameras are any more likely to contribute to auto accidents than those not caught on film. The state could compare accident records of those recently caught on film to a random sample of registered drivers without speeding violations. If offenders caught on film do indeed have a significantly greater accident record, it would support use of the technique. Without such support, the use of these cameras seems hard to justify.

Tracy Trevorrow

Motorists can drive away 'scameras'

About the traffic "scameras," it bothers me that our state government made a very bad contract. I have heard of no top limit for the amount of money that will be sent from Hawaii to Affiliated Computer Services.

The quickest way to drive the scameras out of this state -- and keep our money here -- would be to obey all speed limits. When you see one of those parked vans, say hello by honking your horn five times. The honking will remind drivers behind you to obey the law and drive safely. No speeders means no tickets, no profits, and soon no scameras. We, the people, have the real power. Let us use that power.

Mark Terry

Aloha CEO should have been up front

The interview with Glenn R. Zander, CEO of Aloha Airlines (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 18), gave me a great laugh.

Zander says the merger "is not a bailout" for Aloha and appears miffed that one should believe that his airline was at risk for going under.

I ask Zander what he'd call the merger. I believe that the families who own the airline were getting tired of dipping into their heirlooms to keep Aloha afloat.

Frankly, Hawaiian does not need Aloha. I say let Aloha Airlines die, but the politicians in this state will not let that happen, so we are stuck with this.

If Zander had been honest with his employees from day one, like Hawaiian has been, there would not be so much animosity among the employees or the traveling public. Telling half-truths is the same as lying, in my book. Maybe we read different books, but let's concentrate on keeping the taxpayers of Hawaii informed that this is not going to be a monopoly and that prices will not rise to the sky if this happens.

Frankly, airline prices are a bargain, compared to some places on the mainland. Get on with the merger so taxpayers can concentrate on more important issues, while Zander takes the first flight out of town.

Susanne Dykeman

Merger will abandon people to higher prices

The news about the proposed merger of Hawaiian and Aloha airlines is yet another example of how the public and employees of airlines fall victim to the schemes of airline management.

The CEOs of Hawaiian and Aloha leave with millions of dollars while Hawaii is left with only one airline.

If this merger proceeds, the combined carrier will increase the cost of interisland tickets and people will be left to either pay the higher prices or swim to other islands.

Dave Fahrenwald
Jacksonville, Fla.

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