Bikeshare Hawaii wants to change face of transportation in Honolulu

(Via KHON)

A new program aims to change the face of transportation in Honolulu, by getting drivers to say goodbye to four wheels, and hello to two wheels.

KHON2 sought answers on how the new “Bikeshare Hawaii” project will work.

“So I got to ride bike share in a protected lane in Pittsburgh, it was nice, and I thought if they can do it in Pittsburgh we can do it here,” said Lori McCarney, president of Bikeshare Hawaii.

McCarney knows a thing or two about bicycles. She’s a former excecutive, who came out of retirement to run the non-profit bikeshare program.

Lori is also an avid athlete who’s completed 10 ironman triathlons.

She’s also a realist.

“I say it’s going to happen and people are going to enjoy it and they’re going to find different ways for it to work for them,” McCarney said. “I’m a car person I will always go with what’s more convenient, which is what people do. So I’m not going to put away my car and ride my bike everywhere, but there will be a lot of times when I say the bike is a better choice”

After traveling the country in search of the best options for the islands, the team from Bikeshare Hawaii has whittled the field down to 4 bikes along with their designated docking and pay stations.

KHON2 learned the plan calls for about 200 stations from Chinatown to Diamond Head with 10 to 12 bikes each.

“We’re looking at having our stations every 800 or 900 feet apart so that you never longer than 3 to 4 minute walk to bike share station,” McCarney said.

Mccarney added that the ultimate plan is to connect bike stations with the bus and rail, and it will be affordable.

The costs? It will be $15 monthly passes for unlimited 30 minutes rides, or for tourists and infrequent users, just swipe a credit card and go. An hour ride will cost between $5 and $7.

Of course, there’s also the issue of getting people to trade their horse-power for peddle power, and getting drivers to accept sharing the road with more bikers.

In regards to that, Mccarney points to major international cities like Coppenhagen and Amsterdam, where bikes outnumber humans. Both are about the same size and population as Honolulu.

“I think right now when people say we are very car dependent and I throw back at them and say, ‘okay, what are the options,’” McCarney said.

Both the city and the state have given $1 million to help fund the project, which needs about $5 million more for start-up costs.

While changing habits and raising awareness may be as challenging as raising funding, one thing you won’t need to change according to Mccarney, is your clothes.

“There’s so many people that think you need to wear biking clothes to go biking but actually the bike share bikes are made to use your regular clothes,” McCarney said. “Everything is covered so you don’t get your skirt caught you don’t get grease on you. I try them out in heels and skirts and talk to people about how to show up at a professional meeting with your laptop and how to be ready to go without having to change clothes.”

If you want to see the bikes and technology for yourself, Bikeshare Hawaii has the 4 bikes with docking stations set up in the parking garage of the Honolulu Design Center.

For more information, click here, or visit the Bikeshare Hawaii’s website, http://www.bikesharehawaii.org.

Pearl Harbor visitor site to be open for fireworks

(Via Star Advertiser)

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center grounds will be open the night of Aug. 15 to provide an alternate location for the public to view the Nagaoka fireworks display planned to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific, the National Park Service said.

The fireworks display on Ford Island is the culmination of “70 Years of Peace” events planned by the Navy; the city of Nagaoka, Japan; and the City and County of Honolulu. The events are intended to remember those who lost their lives in World War II and to extend a hand of friendship and peace, according to the park service.

More information is available at www.cnic.navy.mil/70yearsofpeace.

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15, the park service said. The fireworks will begin at 8 p.m. Music for the fireworks will be broadcast live on radio station 105.1 KINE.

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will close to the public after the fireworks show has ended, at about 8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Strict security measures prohibit purses, handbags, fanny packs, backpacks, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage and/or other items that offer concealment. Visitors may bring cameras, cellphones and wallets, and are encouraged to pack lightly.

Visitors may bring picnic food packed in clear plastic bags, the park service said. Also, blankets and chairs may be brought to the event, but umbrellas and alcohol are not permitted.

 
 

Ft. Weaver Rd. overpass to close as rail construction reaches 3-mile mark

(Via KHON)

On Tuesday, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation passed the three-mile mark in the construction of the rail guideway.

The next phase will cross over Fort Weaver Road and that means lane closures.

The Fort Weaver Road/Kunia Road overpass near Waipahu and Ewa will be closed overnight for two weeks for rail construction beginning Sunday evening, June 28.

The overnight lane closures, to run Sundays through Thursdays, will allow crews to safely build the elevated rail guideway over the vehicular overpass at the intersection of Fort Weaver Road and Farrington Highway. The work and related lane closures are expected to run two weeks from June 28 to July 10.

The schedule is as follows:

  • The southbound direction of the overpass will be closed Sunday through Thursday between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. the following morning. Southbound drivers will be detoured onto Old Farrington Highway via the Ewa off-ramp and back onto Fort Weaver Road.
  • The northbound direction of the overpass will also be closed Sunday through Thursday between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. the following morning. Northbound drivers will be detoured onto Farrington Highway via the Waipahu off-ramp. Drivers along Farrington Highway can turn left onto Leoku Street and Waipahu Street to re-enter Fort Weaver Road heading northbound.
Map provided by HART
Map provided by HART

Directional signs will be placed along the route to help drivers navigate the detour.

While construction develops overhead, HART officials want to remind everyone to drive safely.

“We just ask everybody to please remember to be safe, drive safely and look ahead not overhead when you come by,” said HART CEO Dan Grabauskas. “That’s going to be pretty dramatic with the truss that’s behind me, which actually spans over the road while it’s being constructed.”

Soon pillars and guideways will start moving into Waipahu. Rail work there has been going on for some time, but this will be the first time the pillars and guideways will be built in the Waipahu residential and business area.

“We will be closing the balanced cantilever portion that’s over the H-1, H-2 merge, then we’ll be continuing that on the mauka and makai side of the active work zone and connecting that at the Leeward Community College site and connecting it over to the Pearl Highlands side, so those are all the activities you’re gonna be seeing in just the next four to eight week,” Grabauskas said.

Businesses like Zippy’s and Tanioka’s both say the current work has negatively impacted business.

“It’s definitely going to affect more businesses, more residents as we come into the urban core, closer to town where they are in the business areas especially, certainly there’s going to be more dialogue with those businesses and really we have to work things out in terms of traffic patterns and traffic flows,” said Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan, chair of the council’s transportation committee.

Manahan says businesses are encouraged to contact his office or HART with their concerns.

KHON2 spoke to residents who said they are concerned with the noise and/or traffic the newest work will bring.

“The noise won’t bother me because I don’t think I can hear them from there, but the traffic is the main thing,” said Waipahu resident Duang Siharath.

“They do construction at night so some of the noise can be loud depending on the areas of where they are and certainly as they approach, some residential areas may have some complaints, but again, we’re just asking folks to be understanding while we’re going through this process,” Manahan said.

HART says it’s on track to meet the construction deadline of Jan. 31, 2020.

City holds workshop for transit-oriented development near airport

(Via KHON)

airport area
The city wants your input on a transit-oriented development plan near Honolulu International Airport.

The Department of Planning and Permitting will hold its second community workshop on Monday, Feb. 2, at Aliamanu Middle School’s cafeteria, 3271 Salt Lake Boulevard, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The Airport Area TOD Plan will focus on the areas around the rail stations planned at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Honolulu International Airport and Lagoon Drive. The DPP will be seeking input on the preservation of the area’s industrial core, and if residential development is appropriate in the station areas.

Other concepts include:

  • Safe pedestrian crossings of Nimitz Highway and other major roadways
  • Bus and bicycle connections to rail stations
  • Improvements to Keehi Lagoon Park

The Airport Area TOD Plan is one of eight neighborhood plans being developed by the DPP for 19 stations along the city’s 20-mile rail transit line that will lay out the foundation for improvements in the area.

Click here for more information on the airport-area plan and click here to view other neighborhood plans.

Police to pose as pedestrians to reduce fatalities on Oahu

(Via StarAdvertiser)

Beginning Sunday and continuing through the middle of next month, Hono­lulu police officers will be at inter­sections and crosswalks across Oahu as part of a campaign to reduce pedestrian deaths.

Some officers will be posing as civilian pedestrians, the Hono­lulu Police Department said.

The effort is in conjunction with “Walk Wise Hawaii,” a state Department of Transportation pedestrian safety outreach program.

The high number of pedestrian fatalities on Oahu has prompted the ramping up of safety awareness campaigns. In 2014, 25 pedestrians were killed and 14 were critically injured in traffic collisions on Oahu.

On Friday police cautioned pedestrians and issued citations for walking against the traffic signal at Kee­­a­u­moku and Maka­­loa streets.

Pedestrians are urged to use crosswalks, where available, and not to enter a crosswalk if the “don’t walk” signal is flashing or solid red. Drivers should stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk if the pedestrian is on the same half of the road, and should not overtake other vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians.

As of Tuesday three pedestrians had been killed on Oahu roads in 2015:

WALK WISE HAWAII

Honolulu police are ramping up safety awareness efforts at intersections across Oahu. Both drivers and pedestri- ans can be fined for violating pedestrian safety laws:

>> Fine for drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians: $97
>> Fine for pedestrians who jaywalk: $70

» On Jan. 2, Elizabeth Mallard, 48, died when she was struck at North Nimitz Highway and Kalihi Street. Police said Mallard was walking against the light and was not in a marked crosswalk.

» On Jan. 3, Nobuo Yoshi­­oka, 91, was struck by a Ford Escape near Makiki. He was taken to the Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition and died Wednesday. It is unclear whether he was in a crosswalk.

» On. Jan. 6, roller skater Sarah Stani­slaw­ski, 28, of Hono­lulu died after crashing into a moving sedan in Maka­­­kilo on Kikaha Street in an accident that police classify as a pedestrian death.

Council picks committee leaders

(Via Star Advertiser)

Incoming Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa will head the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee, and fellow freshman Councilman Brandon Elefante will lead the remixed Business, Economic Development and Tourism Committee under new committee leadership assignments announced in a memorandum this week by Council Chairman Ernie Martin.

Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi and Zoning Chairman Ikaika Anderson will continue to head the two most powerful Council committees, while Joey Manahan will lead the Transportation Committee.

There are four reconstituted committees in all.

Ron Menor, who previously led the Executive Matters Committee, will head the Public Health, Safety and Welfare Committee. Carol Fukunaga will lead the Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee; and Kymberly Pine will handle the Parks, Community and Customer Services Committee.

Martin will head a nine-member Legislative Matters Committee that will meet as needed.

In related news, Martin has apparently gained enough support to continue as chairman of the nine-member Council, a job he has held since June 2011, when he replaced then-Council Chairman Nestor Garcia. Anderson will continue as vice chairman, while Menor takes over as floor leader.

The three leadership positions must be approved via Resolution 14-297, one of only two items on the agenda for the Council’s meeting on Friday.

The other item is the swearing-in of four Council members who won either election or re-election in 2014. Fukunaga and Martin are the returnees.

To see the leadership resolution online, visit here.

To see the memo with the full slate of committee assignments, visit here.