Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Lunalilo gets
temporary road fix

Question: Lunalilo Home Road is a designated "Bicycle Route" used extensively by cyclists, including for the Honolulu Century Bicycle Ride. A quick-fix paving job put a ridge down the bike lane, laid over existing broken pavement, and left manhole covers two to three inches below street level. This is very dangerous, forcing bicycles into traffic. Can something be done?

Q: Is there a reason the whole street isn't done when it is repaved? In most repaving jobs (e.g., Kilauea and Lunalilo Home Road), a 1- to 2-foot-wide swath is left unpaved along the curb. This creates a dangerous lip and adds to the erosion of the unpaved section. Are the contractors just not doing the complete job, or is there some other reason?

Answer: The temporary repaving job along Lunalilo Home Road is an example of temporary "first-aid pavement work" the city does until it has enough funds to redo an entire roadway.

"It is not uncommon for us to pave short of the roadway width, especially if there is a parking lane," said Laverne Higa, head of the city Department of Facility Maintenance.

We asked why, even in a temporary fix, workers couldn't just pave closer to the curb.

Higa said that would require milling and reconstructing the pavement "to provide a smooth riding transition. We do not have the in-house capability to do this work."

The manholes along Lunalilo Home Road that could be moved have been raised, she said. Some were too difficult to raise, however, "so we feathered" the area around it for a "transition."

It might be a while before Lunalilo Home Road gets a complete overhaul. With limited staffing -- Higa said her department has a 30 percent vacancy rate -- and so many roads that need to be repaved, she couldn't say when funds would be available to redo the entire road.

Q: On March 31 you made reference to renewing the Hawaii driver's license by e-mail and gave the Web site for requesting a renewal-by-mail packet. I could not find where such a request could be made on that site. Where is the renewal request form?

A: Actually, the column said you could e-mail csd@honolulu.gov to request that information be sent instructing you on how you could renew your license by MAIL.

Anyone, in or out of state, may request a renewal by mail six months prior to a license's expiration and within 90 days afterward.

But to ensure the information is being sent to the correct person, a request must be in writing and signed by the applicant, explained Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.

The applicant's signature is compared with the signature on file to verify the identity.

Kamimura noted the packet contains a physician's verification of the applicant's vision as well as a statement that the applicant is physically able to safely operate a motor vehicle.

"We randomly check with the physician's office to ensure that the applicant is a patient," he said.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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