Report Title:

Traffic Studies; Central Oahu



Requires department of transportation to recommend improvements to traffic in Central Oahu corridor.  Requires studying regional connectivity and travel time mitigation and reviewing past traffic flow studies in Central Oahu, including any proposals to extend contra-flow lanes to Mililani.  Appropriates funds.



H.B. NO.














RELAting to traffic.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that it is critical for Hawaii's highways and roads to accommodate traffic flows efficiently, safely, and quickly.  To this end, the department of transportation has conducted or contracted for numerous studies of traffic flows on arteries in the corridor between Central Oahu and the H-1 freeway, including, particularly, the H-2 freeway and Kamehameha highway.  These highways are critical roads that serve as ingress and egress for a multitude of communities bridging Central Oahu and urban Honolulu.  Motorists from Wahiawa, Mililani, Waipahu and other leeward communities depend on and use the H-2 freeway and Kamehameha highway in their daily commutes to and from work and for other purposes.

     Studies confirm in objective terms what has become widely known from practical experience:  during peak traffic hours in the mornings, traffic backs up for miles in every direction as vehicles approach the H-1 freeway.  It has also become equally obvious that leeward-bound traffic during peak morning hours is invariably sparse.  Given these conditions, it is only logical to determine whether a set of recommendations may be developed through a review of these studies and consideration of alternatives for improving regional connectivity and reducing travel time, including the possibility of extending the "zipper" contra-flow lane from the H-1/H-2 interchange to Mililani.

     The purpose of this Act is to require the department of transportation to perform a review of recent traffic studies of the Central Oahu corridor, consider alternative methods of improving regional connectivity and reducing travel time, and develop a comprehensive set of recommendations for improving traffic flow in the area.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  The director of transportation shall undertake a study to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations for improving traffic flow in the Central Oahu corridor.  The study shall include:

     (1)  A comprehensive review of Central Oahu traffic flow studies and any other factors the director deems appropriate and relevant, such as:

         (A)  Communities and areas of Oahu affected;

         (B)  Population densities and growth of those communities;

         (C)  Existing patterns and trends in traffic flows and densities;

         (D)  Existing peak and off-peak usage and flows under varying conditions including seasonal and weather considerations;

         (E)  Peak carrying capacity of the H-2 freeway and Kamehameha highway and the surrounding feeder highways and roads at current usage patterns; and

         (F)  All these patterns compared with projected patterns and usage with contraflow lanes; and

     (2)  A review of alternatives for improving regional connectivity and reducing travel time, including:

         (A)  The feasibility of extending contra-flow lanes to Mililani;

         (B)  A determination of the incremental effect on commuter travel time resulting from the construction of additional housing units in Central and Leeward Oahu, and a determination as to what point in time proposed developments under full occupancy in Central Oahu will exceed the ability of the regional transportation infrastructure to accommodate such development under existing conditions;

         (C)  An evaluation of the impact that a fully developed light rail system on Oahu would have on Central Oahu commuter times and connectivity; and

         (D)  An evaluation and prioritization of the impact on regional connectivity and commuter times of the following proposed transportation improvements in Central Oahu:

              (i)  The construction of a fully improved H-2 interchange at Ka Uka boulevard;

             (ii)  A requirement for Gentry Waiawa to build, in its first phase of housing development, their portion of the central mauka road, parallel and mauka of the H-2, from the H-2 interchange at Ka Uka Boulevard to the Kamehameha highway/Moanalua road extension;

            (iii)  The construction of a through road connecting Kamehameha highway and Paiwa Street through the Central Oahu regional park;

             (iv)  The widening of Kamehameha highway to four lanes between Ka Uka Boulevard and Lanikuhana Avenue;

              (v)  Locating a regional park and ride on the H-2 corridor near Koa Ridge;

             (vi)  The inclusion of safe bikeways and bike paths along all major thoroughfares in the region; and

            (vii)  The identification and construction of necessary adequate access and support linkages to any rapid or mass transit systems fully funded and proposed for serving Oahu.

     (b)  The director shall submit a written report of findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature no later than December 31, 2008, including any necessary proposed legislation to implement the study's recommendations.

     SECTION 3.  The department of transportation shall establish a task force composed of area residents, appropriate state and county land use and transportation officials, and area developers to provide advice and assistance to the department as it conducts its study on improving traffic flow in the Central Oahu corridor.

     SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $          or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009 for a review of Central Oahu traffic studies and alternatives for improving traffic flow in the Central Oahu corridor.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of transportation for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval, except that section 4 shall take effect on July 1, 2008.