Underpass; Roundabouts; Crosswalks; Bikepaths; Sidewalks; Bikelanes; Mass Transportation and More
The 1998 Kihei Makena Community Plan has countless references to “alternative” transportation, but for the most part during the twenty years that have lapsed, ten more than the expected term of the plan, little has been accomplished in South Maui. (BTW, should the next version of our plan be called the South Maui Community Plan?)
So when we announced the traffic control signal at the intersection which some day will be the major entrance to the future DOE high school, a lot of conversations began; pros and cons of it and related transportation concerns. Most everyone agreed that if construction is really about to begin in the next few months with lots of heavy equipment accessing the site at an already challenging intersection, safety demands vehicle traffic controls. But what about long term planning?
We attended meetings on the study on possible transportation plans financed by the state back in 2013 (SEE: https://gokihei.org/environment/transportation-plans-for-south-maui).
So what happened afterwords? Very difficult to determine, but indications are DOE did not like what they heard so just buried it. Looking at the advantages of a roundabout vs perpendicular signalized intersection – ignored.
A few points to consider:
You can’t put a roundabout on a “highway”, right?
YES YOU CAN: it is done all the time throughout much of the world, including at Puhoa on Hawaii Island.
Traffic lights slow traffic – NO, they “stop & go” traffic.
Roundabouts truly slow traffic, it flows more slowly.
Parents have to drive their kids to and from school for safety.
NO; offering safe ways for everyone to walk or cycle is better for all.
Everyone walking to school from makai needs a signalized crosswalk across the 4 lane highway.
NO: Better an underpass so they never have contact with motor vehicles.
WE NEED A PLAN IN PLACE! Our community has been waiting decades for this school to open, and we have years before it will. The time is NOW to get a transportation plan in place so it is done in a reasonable and most efficient manner.