News: Traffic Backup in Waikiki Calls for More Bikes!

So Matt must’ve been dreaming of sunny days and bad traffice in Waikiki when he sent me this article reblogged from the Honolulu Star Advertiser: Hawaii Tries To Solve Transportation Mess With Bike-Sharing Recommended.

The article interviews a local bike commuter who works at the Hilton who apparently reduces a Friday night typical hour-long traffic-jammed no-aloha car commute to a simple 15 minute bike ride to his house in Kaimuki.  Maybe an exaggeration, but maybe not? I’ve never driven through Waikiki on a Friday at pau hana.

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The rest of the article talks about possible solutions –  (mostly TheBarfBus related), including a bike share program. Bike share has been on the brain forever on Oahu, with some pilot stations up and running in Kailua by B-Cycle.

The study found Waikiki already has urgent transportation problems, including unreliable bus service, traffic congestion and a shortage of parking spaces, Frysztacki said.

“Right now, a lot of the traffic mix in Waikiki is unnecessary,” Frysztacki said. “For example, we found empty taxis trolling for fares on Kuhio Avenue in the morning and afternoon. In other cities, they’ve found that people looking for parking make up about 30 percent of the traffic.”

The study recommended corrective actions including:

–Provide more frequent bus service to Waikiki with fewer stops.

–Implement pre-boarding bus fare payment and all-door boarding.

–Coordinate bus information with improved signage and electronic displays.

–Create a 7-mile pedestrian and bicycle core network that considers building pedestrian and bike paths over the Ala Wai.

–Implement bike sharing.

–Emphasize early morning deliveries.

–Provide real-time parking information displays.

Waikiki is almost another animal, apart from the rest of the island. But for those of us who live in Honolulu, or those of us who commute through Waiks, or for those of us who have visited and wished for better traffic patterns… keep your fingers crossed for some bike share action in the future. Maybe better bike share and transit options will roll around eventually!

Or you could do what I did on my first visit and contact HBL, they will hook you up with all your bikey connections in the meantime…


6 Comments

  1. bigbenaugust November 12, 2013 3:10 pm 

    I have driven to Waikiki exactly once in… 3 trips to O’ahu, and that is when Mrs. A and I were there with my parents in ’07. The other times, it was all TheBus (Mrs. A was living out past He’eia Kea) or we were staying in Waikiki itself (par-tay!).

    Parking there was a total mess back then and I cannot imagine that it has improved.

    Now, if they’d had bike share in ’04 when Mrs. A was living there, we might have had a more awesome visit, as it was we were too far from the usual sights and only had one bike between us, so it was all TheBus all the time that trip.

  2. Ghost Rider November 13, 2013 7:01 am 

    See, this mystifies me. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I can imagine motor vehicles and gasoline are at a premium, seein’ as how it’s an island. Add in year-round favorable weather (rain notwithstanding), and I wonder, “why isn’t bicycling the OBVIOUS choice?”

    What is it about these tropical climates that keeps people off their bikes in droves? Same thing with Florida, or SoCal, or a dozen other places…you can ride all year, and traffic congestion is a nightmare. So why not get on two wheels and beat the gridlock?

  3. Raiyn November 13, 2013 6:44 pm 

    @ Ghost Because A/C is awesome. Not that I’d know, the A/C been out in the car for years.

  4. Mir.I.Am November 14, 2013 2:32 am 

    Blame machismo car culture! Plenty of people cycle in triathalons (Ironman in Big Island) but fear the commute and the sweat!

  5. bigbenaugust November 14, 2013 7:27 am 

    In a word: Sweating. Apparently it matters to some people.

    (also, it is weird to talk about heat when it is barely 30F outside)

  6. Raiyn November 14, 2013 9:40 pm 

    Well, the high for the week here is going to be 84F 😉

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