1999 Meeting Highlights

November Meeting

The November meeting was held at the Nuuanu YMCA on the 16th of the month.

President Papacostas announced that our current International District Director, Jenny Grote, was selected to be a candidate for the position of International Vice President for the year 2001. The ballots will be distributed in June 2000 and the results of the election will be announced at the Annual Meeting in Nashville the following August.

Papacostas congratulated ITE section member Goro Sulijoadikusumo for having been named University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Education Program supervisor of the Year.

Sulijoadikusumo reported on the recent activities of the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies (HCES) on which he sits as our representative. He reported that the new Dean of Engineering, W. F. Chen, has made a presentation to the council regarding the present and future directions of the College and his plans to fcilitate greater interaction with the profession.

HCES is considering the possiblility of publishing its newsletter Wiliki o Hawaii on the web as a cost-cutting measure. A committee has been appointed to look into the issue.

Nominations for the annual HCES Lifetime Achievement Award are being solicited by Steve Haywood. He may be reached at 531-4627 (voice) or 533-3745 (fax).

Vice President Pete Pascua introduced Ms. Francine Wai, Executive Director, State Commission on Persons with Disabilities who spoke on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements regarding Transportation Facilities.

The Commission was established within the State of Hawaii Department of Health to advocate and promote full integration of persons with disabilities into society.

The State of Hawaii, Ms. Wai said, has adopted the rules and guidelines promulgated through the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Commission must review all design plans for new buildings and facilities, and for the reconstruction or alterations to existing buildings and facilities, for compliance with these guidelines. The Commission has a staff of 11 to review plans and note where the plans do not comply with a particular standard. It is then up to the engineer to modify the design to conform with the guideline.

She considered the Commission to be very effective in identifying design features that do not comply with the guidelines. Compliance problems most often occur through change orders or field modifications on a project.

The public may either file a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning a perceived barrier to accessibility in an existing facility, or file for a court action. The DOJ may rule that the accessibility must be provided. In the court action, a finding against the defendant would necessitate the modification of accessibility and the payment of the plaintiff’s attorney fees, but no compensatory damages. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of lawsuits in the nation concerning barriers in existing buildings and facilities, according to Ms. Wai. In existing facilities, the challenge is to the engineer or architect to find a way to provide accessibility, or to show why it is not economically feasible to modify the facility.

Ms Wai responded to a number of questions from the luncheon attendees. Her responses included:

  • The Commission considers a facility as accessible if it meets all published design requirements. It is unlikely that any facility can attain 100% accessibility to all possible users.
  • Facilities must satisfy the regulations and guidelines in place at the time of construction, not those at the time of design. When design plans have been shelved while awaiting funding, or for other reasons, the plans must be reviewed again at the time of construction to confirm that the plans are in conformance with any new requirements.
  • The present regulations do not address the distance between stops along public transit routes.
  • For freeway/highway call boxes, the Hawaii guidelines address only the height of the telephone.


September Meeting

The meeting was held on September 21, 1999 at the Nuuanu YMCA in Honolulu.

President Papacostas announced the names of this year’s committee chairs:

Robert Nehmad is our OMPO representative with Robert Miyasaki acting as the alternate. Nehmad reported that OMPO is developing the Transportation Improvement Program for FY 2000-2002. The proposed document is available at the OMPO web site.

Goro Sulijoadikusumo will serve as our representative to the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies. The state Department of of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is in the process of amending Chapter 16-115 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules related to “Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects.” Copies of the proposed amendments may be obtained from James Kobashikawa at 586-2702. Public Hearings on this matter will be held later this year.

Kathy Koga and Susan Uejo are the Student Chapter Contacts. Susan reported that, following Jong Kim’s departure, Panos Prevedouros will resume the role of student chapter faculty advisor.

Keith Niiya, Engineers’ Week Display chair, is soliciting ideas for the February 1999 display.

Golf Tournament chair Mike Miyamoto will plan the second annual tournament for the spring of 2000.

Headed by Wayne Yoshioka, the Legislative Committee has gained one member: Gordon Lum.

Technical Committee chair Julian Ng is assembling a team to develop a set of Guidelines for Traffic Impact Studies.

Members are urged to become active in the committee of their choice.

The featured speaker was Don Hamada, Chief, Traffic Signal and Technology Division, Honolulu Department of Transportation Services. He was accompanied by two members of his staff, Arnold Fukutomi and John Jiardiolin.

Don discussed several exciting Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) initiatives of his division. These include the following:

  • Expansion of the traffic surveillance camera system to Pali and Likelike Highways as well as to the Leeward area beyond Middle Street
    Transit Management Applications, including:
  • Bus Tracking using Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology
  • Bus Priority at signalized intersections via green extension
  • Next-bus arrival and other rider information dissemination systems

With regard to AVL, several methods are being considered for the short- and longer run, including appropriate combinations of:

  • Differential Global Positioning (GPS)
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Transponder/Detector systems
  • Communication with the Traffic Control Center is a major design element that involves difficulties to be overcome. It appears that the cellular digital packet data (CDPD) technique is the most promising as it covers a wide area and interfaces with the TCP/IP protocol.

Several information display methods are also being investigated including monitor-based systems used in Portland Oregon and touch-screen applications as used in Arizona.

DTS has worked on several possible display-content prototypes

August Meeting

The first meeting of the new fiscal year was held on August 17, 1999 at the Nuuanu YMCA.

Julian Ng, our outgoing OMPO Citizen Advisory Committee representative, reported the following:

  • The last CAC meeting was held on July 21. New CAC chair Rich Kane led a brainstorming session to identify CAC directions for the coming year. The FY 2000 Overall Work Program (OWP) was distributed to member organizations.
  • The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 18, 1999 at the State Capitol, Room 309, at 4:00 p.m. The State of Hawaii DOT will present the FY 2000-2002 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
  • ITE-Hawaii was one of a handful of CAC members to receive a certificate of appreciation for its “firm commitment toward the Transportation Planning Process.”

President Papacostas noted that the award was earned principally because of Julian’s active involvement as our representative.

Papacostas reported that five people from Hawaii attended the ITE meeting in Las Vegas. He described the new certification process and shared the observation of one of the speakers at the conference that if employers were to require their staff to become certified, they have an obligation to support them in preparing for the examination.

Papacostas announced the following committee appointments and urged the membership to volunteer for the remaining vacant positions:

  • OMPO CAC: Representative: Robert I. Nehmad; Alternate: Robert Y. Miyasaki
  • HCES: Representative: Goro Sulijoadikusumo Alternate: vacant
  • Student Chapter Contacts: Cathy Koga and Susan Uejo
  • Engineers’ Week Display: Keith Niiya
  • Golf: Mike Miyamoto
  • Legislative Affairs (new initiative): Wayne Yoshioka (*)
  • Technical Committee (new): Julian Ng (*)
  • There is a need to establish local guidelines for Traffic Impact Studies
    (*)appointed subsequent to the August meeting

A Traffic Safety Forum is being planned for November 29-December 3, 1999 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Several technical workshops are to be included.

Vice President Pete Pascua introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Kenneth Stanley, Vice President for Operations and Marketing, Oahu Transit Services (OTS). Mr. Stanley has over 30 years of experience in transit operations. Over a period of 21 years, he rose from the ranks of operator to Director of Operations of the Portland, Oregon, MAX system. Before coming to Hawaii, he was employed in Oakland, California and Takoma, Washington. He is an active member of the American Public Transit Association (APTA) and the Bus Transit Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Mr. Stanley explained that his Honolulu position provides the advantage of concentrating on operating the city’s award-winning system. Often snarly policy issues are the responsibility of the City and County of Honolulu.

TheBus, Honolulu’s transit system, provides 4,260 hours of service during a typical weekday. This translates to 3,791 bus-trips and 63,458 bus-miles of travel with an average of 60 passengers per bus trip for a total of 230,000 passengers per weekday. The busiest route is No.2 (Middle Street-CBD-Waikiki) averaging 96 passengers per hour.

Buses are ADA accessible serving nearly 10,000 wheelchair-bound passengers per day. With the addition of bicycle racks on the front-end of buses, more than 24,000 bicyclists are also being served.

“Next stop announcement” is a new service provided via a combination of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and dead reckoning. Future plans include an expanded GPS-based vehicle location system, including full radio communication with the base yard.

A relatively new service, Route A (also known as City Express), connects Middle Street with the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM). An extension to Pearl Ridge was planned for August 18, 1999. With only 12 stops between Middle Street and UHM, Route A simulates a rapid transit operation.

Other changes scheduled for the near future include a hub-and-spoke configuration. To be successful, this type of operation requires timed transfers that are complicated by increasing traffic congestion and, often, by the time required to operate the wheelchair lift that typically takes between 2.5 and 3 minutes. Low-floor buses would alleviate this need at the cost of a 25% passenger-carrying capacity per bus.

Compared with bus technology of only a few years ago, today’s “smart buses” are capable of self-diagnosis. With a full communication network in place, central control would be able to identify the position and condition of every bus on the road.

Responding to questions, Mr. Stanley explained that signal priority and real-time user information are in the works. He also explained that patronage estimates are derived by a combination of techniques including random route sampling, revenue-based estimation, farebox counters and load point check surveys.

He stated that with the introduction of the City Express service a mild decrease in patronage (attributable to many factors, including a decrease in downtown employment) has been reversed.

Mr. Stanley concluded by expressing his conviction that a well-run, reliable transit system is an integral part of a liveable city. This is especially so in cities such as Honolulu where a good portion of the patronage consists of choice (rather than captive) riders.

Annual Meeting

The 1999 annual meeting was held on June 22 at the University of Hawaii.

The guest speaker was Ms. Jenny Grote, International Director. She gave a comprehensive background of ITE activities, benefits and membership opportunities. She also discussed the status of the Traffic Operations Certification Program. The first round of tests was completed earlier this year with additional offerings scheduled for Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle.

Ms Grote emphasized that the International Board is always open to suggestions from the general membership. Based on a recent survey, the following priority issues have been identified:

  • Transportation Safety, including safety audits, and pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Harmonization of the transportation system
  • Traffic operations, including Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  • Traffic Operations Engineer refresher course offerings
  • On June 21, Ms Grote met with members of the executive board (see photo). Following the annual meeting she visited the Hawaii Department of Transportation where she discussed the Affiliated Government Agency Membership program with Highways Chief Pericles Manthos, Program Manager of the Traffic Branch Paul Hamamoto and Traffic Operations Engineer Bryan Kimura.

Outgoing president Susan Uejo stated that the Section has signed a partnering agreement with the Hawaii Local Technical Assistance Program (HLTAP) and she presented the following award certificates:

  • For the Engineers Week Display (which won the Grand Prize in February):
  • Clyde Shimizu, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas
  • Mike Miyamoto, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas
  • Ty Fukumitsu, City and County of Honolulu
  • Fred Smoot, Phoenix Pacific
  • For organizing the first annual (and very successful) ITE golf tournament:
  • Mike Miyamoto, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas

Past president Julian Ng announced the results of the elections for the 1999-2000 Executive Board:

  • President: C. S. Papacostas, University of Hawaii
  • Vice President: Pete Pascua, Wilson Okamoto & Assoc.
  • Secretary: T. Brian Brothers, Wilbur Smith Associates
  • Treasurer: Fred Smoot, Phoenix Pacific


May Meeting

The May luncheon meeting was held on 05/18/1999.  President Susan Uejo announced that ballots for the election of 1999-2000 officers will be mailed to members by the end of the week. The annual meeting will be held at the University of Hawaii on June 22. It will feature Jenny Grote, ITE National Director. Arrangements will be made for Ms Grote to meet with representatives of the city’s Department of Transportation Services and the state’s Department of Transportation. Susan encouraged all members to attend the annual meeting.

Susan thanked ITE member Mike Miyashiro for organizing the first (and hopefully annual) golf tournament. About thirty people participated. The golf prowlness of the players from the Hawaii Division of FHWA was noted.

Julian Ng reported that the Citizen Advisory Committee of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) was held on April 27. Sgt. Robert Lung of the Honolulu Police Department discussed the on-going implementation of the legislatively approved program to issue citations for red-running and speeding via camera recording of violators. Julian indicated that the 05/19/1999 meeting of the CAC will hear state DOT Highways Chief Pericles Manthos discuss the impact of TEA-21 on Hawaii’s highway and bridge maintenance program.

ITE member and OMPO Executive Director Gordon Lum thanked ITE for the input it provided toward the definition of the scope of work for the upcoming major update of the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan. Responses to a request for qualifications are being received.

The main speaker at the meeting was Gary Choy, Head Engineer of the Materials Testing and Research Branch of the state DOT which is physically located on Likelike Highway on the Honolulu side of the tunnel.

Mr. Choy explained that the Branch consists of three sections:

  • Compliance Testing
  • Soils & Pavement Design and
  • Materials Quality Assurance.

The Branch

  • conducts materials, foundations, soils and environmental (mainly noise) studies
  • conducts and manages applied research maintains contacts with national laboratory accreditation organizations such as AASHTO and
    is responsible for quality assurance/quality control, a responsibility recently transferred to the states from FHWA.
  • The Hawaii DOT Materials Testing laboratory is currently accredited for soils, aggregates, concrete and asphalt.

Recently supported applied research projects include:

  • Development of the Herbicide Manual
  • Long term soil creep
  • Soil stabilization by the use of soil admixtures
  • Ramp closures
  • Corrosion inhibitors or reinforcement bars in marine environments.

The results of an upcoming study on the use of carbon fiber fabric to retrofit/reinforce prestressed beams are expected to bring handsome benefits in terms of cost savings.

Research is also conducted in-house. Examples include:

  • Dry-land and shaded-condition planting techniques
  • Demonstration of cost-saving light guidance tubes
  • Testing of “superpave” mixes using performance grade (PG) binder designs
  • Use of rapid-cure high-strength portland cement concrete pavements and
  • Implementation of incentive/disincentive contract clauses relating to pavement smoothness as part of a national initiative.

Other Branch activities include:

  • Conversion to the recently-released FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM)
  • Implementation of a GIS-based Pavement Management System
  • Adoption of life cycle cost analysis in pavement design and
  • Support of technology transfer via the Hawaii Local Technical Assistance Program (HLTAP)


April Meeting

The April luncheon meeting was held on 04/20/1999.  OMPO representative Julian Ng announced that the Citizen Advisory Committee was scheduled to meet on April 21. The Transportation Improvement Program and a presentation by Police Sgt. Robert Lung on Red Light Running were on the CAC agenda.

The main luncheon speakers were Bryan Kimura, Project Manager for Hawaii DOT’s Freeway Management System (FMS), and Blaine Kawamura, Manager of the H-3 Freeway Control Center.

Oahu’s FMS has been dubbed Akamai Highway System (AHI). It covers the H-1, H-2 and Moanalua Freeways with connections to the H-3 Freeway and the City’s Traffic Control Center.

The main goals of the system is to improve efficiency and safety, to increase mobility, to provide incident identification, verification, clearance and motorist assistance and to provide pre-trip and en-route information to motorists via cable, advisory radio, dynamic message signs, information kiosks and the internet.

Austin Tsutsumi and Associates is the lead contractor for the project that is approaching the completion of the planning phase. A Preliminary Engineering Report and Implementation Plan are expected this summer to be followed by the Design and Implementation phases.

Among the issues being addressed are

  • Interagency Coordination
  • ITS Architecture Integration and
  • Institutional Cooperation.
  • The project has a public outreach component and receives inputs from a committing representing all stakeholders, including other city and state transportation agencies, emergency services, police, civil defense, environmental groups and the general public.


March Meeting

The March luncheon meeting was held on 03/16/1999 at the Nuuanu YMCA.  President Susan Uejo announced that the ITE/city Department of Transportation Services Engineers’ Week display of how a traffic signal works won this year’s Grand Prize. Susan thanked all those involved in designing and constructing the display. Vice President C. S. Papacostas mentioned that the display was so well and accurately done that he took his Traffic Simulation class to the display area at Kahala Mall to illustrate the operation of actuated signal control. The lecture attracted members of the shopping public who had questions of their own answered as well.

Julian Ng, our OMPO representative reported that the Citizen Advisory Committee was scheduled to receive a progress report on the city’s Primary Corridor Study.

Mike Miyamoto, chair of the Golf Tournament committee, reported that a tentative date of April 29, 1999 has been set with the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. He will proceed with the registration of at least 36 people from the private and public sectors.

The main speaker was Mr. Bennett Mark, Infrastucture Development Manager for the Barbers Point Naval Air Station Redevelopment Commission.

Bennett stated that what started as a Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 1993 was transferred to the State of Hawaii in 1997. The adopted Redevelopment Plan includes some federally retained lands. For example, the U.S. Navy will retain its housing areas and land fill, whereas other areas will be transfered to non-military federal agencies. Of the available 3300 acres, 2000 will be converted to civilian use. Major uses include:

  • The “downtown” area will be placed under the control of the Hawaiian Home Lands Agency.
  • The airport (750 acres) will be available for:
  • the U.S. Coast Guard for search and rescue operations
  • emergency runway for the Honolulu International Airport (HIA)
  • general aviation activities to be transfered from HIA
  • a flight school operated jointly by the Honolulu Community College and the University of North Dakota
  • Approximately 170 acres will be under the control of the City Department of Parks and Reacreation
  • Another 31 acres will be used by the city for a 10 mgd desalinization plant
  • A permanent Raceway Park is under consideration
  • A city-controlled International Sports Complex is contemplated for the long term.

The commission will develop the basic infrastructure for the area including roads, water (potable and non-potable) and sewage facilities. The firm of R. M. Towill is the prime consultant to the Commission.

Legislation will be proposed to next year’s legislature to clarify the roles of the commission and the “client” agencies, the applicable standards for roadways, the establishment of a special rural drainage district and related matters.

In response to questions from the audience, Bennett indicated that the “default” zoning of the civilian areas will be P2 – Preservation the U.S. Navy is responsible for environmental cleanup prior to turnover on- and off-site traffic and transportation impacts will be addressed in an upcoming traffic impact study


February, 1999

Engineers’ Week Display
Please visit our display at Kahala Mall. It will be up until Sunday, February 28.


Luncheon Meeting
The February luncheon meeting was held on 02/16/1999 at the Nuuanu YMCA.

With member Neal Kasamoto as facilitator, the group brainstormed with Gordon Lum, ITE member and OMPO Executive Director, on various issues relaring to the upcoming update of OMPO’s Oahu Regional Transportation Plan.

Among the items covered were the methods of identifying regional projects to be analyzed/included in the Plan, the definition of committed projects, the various types of projects (e.g., capacity-enhancing, mobility-related, maintenance, safety), and methods of establishing priorities within the required financially constrained environment.

January, 1999

The January luncheon meeting was held on 01/19/1999 at the Nuuanu YMCA.

Julian Ng reported via memorandum that, as our representative, he is one of four persons on the OMPO Transportation Evaluation Panel. The panel will present its recommendations to the full Citizen Advisory Committee.

Clyde Shimizu reported that construction of our display for the upcoming Engineers’ Week is on schedule. A committee of six people has met with Ty Fukumitsu of the city’s Traffic Control Center to obtain the major components of the display which will allow for hands-on demonstrations of “How a Traffic Signal Works.” These include

  • a display board showing a “miniature” intersection wired with loop detectors
  • a controller unit
  • two full-size signal heads
  • miniature vehicles

Visitors will be invited to “drive” the vehicles over the loop detectors and observe the system’s response. Explanations of the signal control operation will be provided.

The main speaker was Gordon Lum, Executive Director of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization and ITE member. He led a lively discussion relating to the upcoming update of the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan. He explained that, to conform with federal regulations, the plan must be updated by November 2000 and have a 20-year horizon during the five-year period until the next update. Thus the plan’s horizon year is 2025.

Gordon identified several issues that need to be resolved prior to embarking on the update and sought suggestions from those present. Among the outstanding issues discussed were the following:

  • What is the best way to account for the city’s major Trans2K effort which includes an extensive public outreach phase, a Major Investment Study (MIS) incorporating alternatives analysis and the environmental process
  • What are the appropriate land use scenaria to be investigated as part of the regional plan update
  • How to best identify transportation projects to be investigated for possible inclusion in the plan, considering that safety, economic revitalization and other motivations exist in addition to traditional measures of transportation system performance
  • Which measures of performance to use and how to best prioritize projects with respect to these measures and in view of financial constraints

It was generally agreed that a special brainstorming session be scheduled to continue the interchange on the above (and other) issues.