Mitigate Lengthy Traffic Commutes
Gridlocked traffic from Central O‘ahu to the Honolulu urban core seems almost commonplace. On a good day, we might see 45-minute morning and evening commutes. On a normal day, the average prospect appears to hover above an hour. In twenty years’ time of commuting, we would have spent over a year (roughly 400 days) sitting in traffic. What could you do with one year of time? How about a year of salary?
As a member of the Mililani-Waipi‘o-Melemanu Neighborhood Board #25, I’ve heard growing concerns of the potential for increased traffic coinciding with the development of the nearby Koa Ridge master-planned community. However, there are a number of ways that we can ensure the mitigation of lengthy traffic commutes.
Mass transportation systems combined with innovative urban planning (“smart” communities/cities) are two solutions to our traffic woes. When it comes to innovative urban planning, I would strongly advocate for smart infrastructure in Koa Ridge where we might be able to site hubs for new and expanded economic opportunities. Instead of a commute to Honolulu for work, we could commute to Koa Ridge. Similarly, Wahiawa may also choose to improve its economic potential through smart development and if so, we would have another option for a short work commute.
Connecting the three communities of Mililani, Wahiawa, and Koa Ridge through mass transportation systems like light rail or even smaller personal rapid transit systems like Morgantown, West Virginia’s podcars could significantly reduce the number of cars on the road. Again, bringing economic opportunities to Central O‘ahu would greatly reduce the need for lengthy daily commutes.
For those that inevitably have to commute from Central O‘ahu to Honolulu – like me – mass transportation is still a viable solution to dealing with traffic congestion. Expanding the current rail infrastructure to include a Central O‘ahu spur and ideally, an express route directly from Mililani to Honolulu, could undoubtedly work to a better quality of life. Again, the introduction of game-changing economic sectors to Hawai‘i could alleviate the cost-burden of this transportation infrastructure.