THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

176

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE STATE TO CONSIDER AND ADOPT INNOVATIVE POLICIES TO IMPROVE TRANSIT AND REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

 

 


     WHEREAS, traffic congestion is a major issue that costs the State millions of dollars annually and negatively contributes to the health and welfare of residents; and

 

     WHEREAS, Honolulu consistently ranks among the worst cities nationally for traffic congestion; and

 

     WHEREAS, the average commuter on Oahu spends sixty-four hours each year sitting in traffic congestion; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism estimates the cost of traffic congestion, including time lost and the excess fuel consumed sitting in traffic, at more than $753,000,000 annually; and

 

     WHEREAS, there are currently more than 1,275,000 motor vehicles registered in the State, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and scooters; and

 

     WHEREAS, as of December 2019, there are only 944,159 residents with a valid driver's license, which means there are approximately 330,841 more vehicles than drivers in the State; and

 

     WHEREAS, there are only 4,476 miles of roads, paved and unpaved, in the State; and

 

     WHEREAS, the State spends on average $82,000,000 annually on road repairs; and

 

     WHEREAS, between 1995 and 2017 Oahu added one hundred ninety miles of new roadways and during that same time period Oahu added 190,000 more registered vehicles while the population on Oahu only grew by approximately twelve percent; and

 

     WHEREAS, between 1993 and 2017, the nation's one hundred largest urbanized areas added 30,511 new freeway lane-miles, an increase of forty-two percent, and over that same time period the population in those regions increased by thirty-two percent while traffic delays and congestion exploded by one hundred forty-four percent, proving that "widening the freeways" won't solve the traffic problems in the State; and

 

     WHEREAS, a new focus on affordable housing development will add tens of thousands of commuters to the roads in the years to come; and

 

     WHEREAS, the only effective way of improving transit and reducing traffic in the State is to shift away from spending limited resources on adding lane miles for vehicles and instead investing in alternative transit infrastructure and adopting policies that reduce the number of vehicles on the roads; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the State is encouraged to consider and adopt innovative policies to invest in alternative transit infrastructure and reduce the number of vehicles on the road; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Transportation is requested to convene a working group to examine and consider innovative policies to invest in alternative transit infrastructure and reduce the number of vehicles on the road; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be comprised of the following members, or their designees:

 

     (1)  The Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation, who should serve as co-chair of the working group;

 

     (2)  The Chairperson of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transportation, who should serve as co-chair of the working group;

 

     (3)  The Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Housing;

 

     (4)  The Chairperson of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Housing;

 

     (5)  The Director of Transportation;

 

     (6)  The Chief Energy Officer;

 

     (7)  A representative of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association;

 

     (8)  A representative of the Ulupono Initiative;

 

     (9)  A representative of the Hawaii Bicycling League; and

 

    (10)  Any other members as may be necessary, as invited by the co-chairs; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the working group serve without compensation; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Director of Transportation, Chief Energy Officer, President of Ulupono Initiative, President of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association, and Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League.

Report Title: 

Zero Net Vehicle Growth Policy; HADA; DOT