An update on past news

Bingham Street offramp
has options for safety

By Treena Shapiro

Question: Whatever happened to a state Department of Transportation study on the impact of closing the H-1 freeway eastbound exit at Bingham Street?

Answer: The study, which was completed last year, concluded that the offramp should remain open. However, to address the concerns of Bingham Street residents, the state is looking into traffic-calming measures to slow vehicles leaving the freeway.

About two months ago, the Transportation Department put a speed trailer with a radar gun on Bingham Street so motorists know how fast they are driving through the residential neighborhood. More "bulb-outs" are being considered to constrict the roadway and force drivers to slow down.

A bulb-out, which may be an embankment, tree or plants, helps slow traffic by making the street look smaller.

State Rep. Terry Nui Yoshinaga (D, McCully Moiliili, Pawaa), who lives on Bingham Street, said she has volunteered to have a bulb-out in front of her house, even if it means giving up a parking space on the street.

"What it does is that it visually narrows the road. Right now if there are no cars parked there, it's wide and cars blow through (off the freeway)," Yoshinaga said.

The speed trailer has helped to calm traffic, she said. "We're happy with that, at least, if they can't close the offramp."

While she hopes that eventually the University offramp will be upgraded so that the Bingham Street offramp can close, it will be at least 10 years before that happens.

Residents are trying other traffic-calming techniques, such as holding signs asking motorists to slow down, lobbying the state for traffic signs, and asking the police department to include that street as a "red-flag speeding area zone" where they will ticket speeders randomly.

"It will be sort of a consequence to people who ignore the signs," Yoshinaga said.

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