S.R. NO.








requesting the department of transportation to develop flexible design guidelines for scenic highways.


WHEREAS, Hawaii's rural communities are at risk of losing their unique identities due to increased urbanization, including the construction of new roadways that must meet urban highway standards regarding vehicular and pedestrian safety; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that there is a need to allow for the repair and reconstruction of state highways in a manner that takes into account effects upon the natural, historic, and cultural resources and still addresses other factors, including those related to safety, mobility, durability, and economy of maintenance; and

WHEREAS, the standards that most highway designers reference are flexible design standards based on "A Policy on the Geometric Designs of Highways and Streets" (commonly called the "Green Book") published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; and

WHEREAS, in a supplement to the Green Book entitled "Flexibility in Highway Design", the Federal Highway Administration encourages highway designers to expand their consideration of the Green Book criteria, and states in part, "This guide should be viewed as a useful tool to help highway designers, environmentalists, and the public move further along the path to sensitively designed highways and streets by identifying some possible approaches that fully consider aesthetic, historic, and scenic values, along with safety and mobility"; and

WHEREAS, when Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act in 1991, it recognized the importance of good design that is sensitive to the surrounding environment, especially in historic and scenic areas; and

WHEREAS, section 304 of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 provides that a design for new construction, reconstruction, resurfacing (except for maintenance surfacing), restoration, or rehabilitation of a highway on the National Highway System (other than a highway also on the interstate system) may take into account, in addition to safety, durability, and economy of maintenance:

(1) The constructed and natural environment of the area;

(2) The environmental, scenic, aesthetic, historic, community, and preservation impacts of the activity; and

(3) Access for the other modes of transportation; and

WHEREAS, the above standards provide the states with the flexibility to develop and apply criteria they deem appropriate for federal-aid projects not in the national highway system; and

WHEREAS, therefore, the Legislature further finds that there is a federal policy framework with respect to roadway repair and reconstruction that encourages creativity and sensitivity, while striving for safety and efficiency; and

WHEREAS, this policy framework recommends early identification of critical project issues and encourages the thorough consideration of community concerns and input prior to the rendering of major decisions that may severely limit other options; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature further finds that organizations such as the Historic Hawaii Foundation, Alliance for the Heritage of East Maui, the Hanalei Road Committee on Kauai, and projects to develop heritage corridors on the Big Island, are exploring and supporting concepts such as scenic byway or heritage corridor programs; and

WHEREAS, work is also in progress to recognize the Ka Iwi coastal highway stretch on Oahu as an important scenic and historic corridor; and

WHEREAS, in view of these pending projects and future scenic roadway projects, the Legislature further finds that the adoption of flexible design guidelines is necessary to provide a framework for the consideration of aesthetic, environmental, historic and cultural preservation, and community concerns when constructing or reconstructing scenic highways; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-Second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, that the Department of Transportation is requested to develop and implement flexible design guidelines for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing (except for maintenance surfacing), restoration, and rehabilitation of scenic highways that are consistent with federal alternative design guidelines and that take into account:

(1) Safety, durability, and economy of maintenance;

(2) Constructed and natural environments of the affected area;

(3) Potential effects on the state and local economies;

(4) Community development plans as reflected in relevant county ordinances;

(5) Environmental, scenic, aesthetic, historic, community, and preservation impacts of the activity;

(6) Access for other modes of transportation; and

(7) Access to and integration of sites deemed culturally and historically significant to the affected communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Transportation is requested to report to the Legislature on its efforts and progress in developing and implementing flexible design standards, and to recommend if such standards should be statutorily established, no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2005; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Director of Transportation, the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, the mayors of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, and the

chairpersons of the Honolulu City Council, Hawaii County Council, Maui County Council, and Kauai County Council.






Report Title:

Scenic Highways; Flexible Design Guidelines