2000 Meeting Highlights

October Meeting

Ms. Cindy McMilan, the Outreach Coordinator from the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services was the featured speaker at the October 25th luncheon meeting of the ITE Hawaii Section. Ms. McMilan provided a summary of the information included in the Major Investment Study (MIS)/Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the Primary Corridor Project. She also handed out the Oahu Trans 2K Progress Report #4.

She explained the history of the project, in which for over two years, community members were brought together to prepare a transit plan for Oahu. From these meetings, the City is now analyzing the three alternatives listed in the DIES. The three alternatives include the following:

The No-Build alternative includes roadway projects expected to be implemented in the next three years and expansion of the bus service in developing areas like Kapolei.

The Transportation System Management alternative consists of reconfiguring the bus system into a hub-and-spoke network with circulator, local, and express routes meeting at transit centers.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) comprises of a regional and a in-town system. The Regional BRT from Kapolei to Kalihi uses new access ramps connecting expanded zipper and express lanes on H-1 Freeway. The in-town BRT system uses electric vehicles along exclusive or semi-exclusive transitway lanes from Kalihi to Downtown Honolulu, Waikiki and the University of Hawaii.

What’s next? The Final Environmental Impact Statement will be written, incorporating the comments received by the public.

If you are interested in more information on this project you may call (808)527-6978 or visit the project website at www.oahutrans2k.com.

September Meeting

Mr. Fred Pascua, from the Harbors Division of the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), was the featured speaker at the September 9th luncheon meeting of the ITE Hawaii Section. He provided an explanation of the HDOTs mission and 2001 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Program.

The HDOT has developed a mission statement that reads:

The Mission of the Harbors Division is to provide and effectively manage a commercial harbor system that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods to, from and between the Hawaiian Islands, and enhances and/or preserves economic prosperity and quality of life.

The commercial harbor system consists of 10 harbors on six islands:

Hilo Harbor, Hawaii
Kawaihae, Hawaii
Kahului Harbor, Maui
Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai
Kaumalapau Harbor, Lanai
Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor, Oahu
Kewalo Basin, Oahu
Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai
Port Allen Harbor, Kauai
Honolulu Harbor, Oahu
Currently the HDOT is working on several Capital Improvement Projects, including the following:

Hilo Harbor – Since the cruise ship industry is expanding in Hawaii additional berths for the commercial liners are needed, the HDOT will be extending Pier 3. A new barge terminal including a new pier, storage yard and shed will also be developed.

Kawaihae Harbor – In order to accommodate the woodchip industry, the HDOT will be conducting a federal feasibility study for improving navigational conditions which include additional surge protection and deepening of the basin and entrance channel.

Kahului Harbor – Since the cruise ship Independence will be relocated to Maui, several improvements need to be made. This includes a new comfort station and new water and wastewater systems at Pier 1. Improvements to the interisland terminal are also planned.

Kaumalapau Harbor – In a joint Federal-State project with the Corps of Engineers, the HDOT will reconstruct the breakwater.

Nawiliwili Harbor – The HDOT plans to extend Pier 2 and replace fenders at Pier 3.

Honolulu Harbor – The HDOT is working on several projects in this harbor.

Keehi Industrial Park Improvements

Navigational Improvements to Honolulu Harbor & Keehi Lagoon & Kapalama Container Yard

Pier 51B Yard Improvements

Pier 2 Cruise Ship Terminal

Sand Island Container Yard Improvements (Piers 52 and 53)

Improvements to Commercial Fishing Facilities at Piers 16-18

The HDOT is also working on a Sand Island Tunnel Feasibility Study. The study will look at the technical, economic, and environmental issues related to replacing the Sand Island Bridge with a tunnel.

In order to sustain the needed projects in the CIP Program, an increase in the tariffs is being considered A 5% tariff increase would result in a price increase of $0.72 for a sport utility vehicle, $0.001 for a 10-lb bag of rice, $0.000075 for a 12 oz can of spam. With an increase of this scale, the general public should not see a big change in prices.

The HDOT is also looking into different methods of innovative financing such as:

Private Development (Lease Option)
– Development of projects by private entities in exchange for a lease of 35 years

– No impact to State’s debt service.

Private Development (Lease with a Lease Back Option)
– State will lease facility built by a private entity

Reimbursement Provisions
– Requires Legislative Approval

State General Fund Subsidy
– Use of State General funds as projects have indirect benefits to the entire State

Additional Business Income Taxes
– (Example: Cruise Ship Terminal could be funded in part by taxes generated by any additional domestic cruise ship vessel.)

Federal Funding
– Secure Federal funding for applicable projects with matching State funds (TEA-21, FTA,..)

There is much work being conducted by the Harbors Division that is not seen by the general public. The projects listed above make up only a small portion of what they do.

July Meeting

Ms Patti Boekamp, an International Director of ITE (District 6, western U.S.) and the Chief Deputy Director with the City of San Diego’s Engineering & Capital Projects Development Department, was the main speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Hawaii Section. She gave a comprehensive background of ITE activities, benefits and membership opportunities. She reviewed the resources at the ITE website available to the general public and those available only to ITE members. Ms. Boekamp discussed the status of the new Traffic Operations Certification Program, with 414 persons having passed the examination to become certified in the first year.

Ms Boekamp identified the following emphasis areas for ITE this year:

Transportation Safety, including safety audits
Transportation Operations, including the development of national benchmarks of system performance
Smart Growth
Pedestrians and Bicycles
She also indicated that ITE is emphasizing the development of leadership training resources for its members.

Outgoing president Costas Papacostas commended the following individuals for their efforts during the past year:

Keith Niiya, Austin Tsutsumi & Associates, for the Engineers Week display (which won the Grand Prize for second year in a row)
Wayne Yoshioka, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, for chairing the Legislative Committee, which submitted testimony to the Legislature for the first time
Cathy Koga, Wilson Okamoto & Associates, for chairing the Student Chapter Committee.
Robert Miyasaki, City and County of Honolulu, for serving as ITE representative on OMPO’s Citizen Advisory Committee
Goro Sulijoadikusumo, Hawaii DOT, for serving as ITE representative on the Hawaii Coouncil of Engineering Societies
Past president Susan Uejo announced the results of the elections for the 2000-2001 Executive Board of the Hawaii Section:

President: Pete Pascua, Wilson Okamoto & Associates
Vice President: Terry Brothers, Wilbur Smith Associates
Secretary: Richelle Suzuki, Federal Highways Administration
Treasurer: Fred Smoot, Phoenix Pacific
Treasurer Fred Smoot motioned that the Hawaii Section contribute $1,500 from its general funds to the ITE Millennium Fund, which is being used to furnish the new ITE International Headquarters office facilities in Washington, D.C. The motion was approved by the members at the meeting.


June Meeting

The Hawaii Section of ITE took advantage of the midyear meeting of the Transportation Research Board Highway Capacity Committee on Maui to invite James Schoen and Khang Nguyen of Catalina Engineering, Inc. (CEI) to update the members on Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) 2000. The monthly luncheon meeting was held on June 28th at the Honolulu Downtown YWCA.

CEI, through NCHRP Project 3-55(6), is producing the new HCM 2000. The firm is also preparing a software package that will include the manual, the analytical models, tutorials, and example problems. The HCM 2000 will be available in the loose-leaf book form and as a multimedia CD-ROM, with both the book and CD-ROM versions expected to be available before yearend.

Jim Schoen provided the members an overview of the organization, content, and changes in the new HCM. Among these are:

The size of the manual is still increasing, with the 2000 HCM totaling 1,100 pages versus 750 pages for the 1997 HCM.
The new manual will be available in either a metric version or a U.S. Customary Units version. The two methodologies are the result of a “hard conversion,” so they may provide slightly different analyses results.
HCM 2000 provides more emphasis on planning methods of analyses and use of default values.
It has major changes to the analyses methodologies for two-lane highways, freeway facilities, bicycles, pedestrians, and transit.
It includes minor changes in methodologies concerning signal-controlled intersections, weaving sections, and ramps/ramp junctions.
The manual includes a new major section with chapters addressing assessment of multiple facilities, corridor analyses, and area-wide analyses.
HCM 2000 also includes a major section on simulation models.
Jim and Khang demonstrated the new CEI software package analyses procedures for signal-controlled intersections and freeway segments. The software format attempts to reproduce the look of the manual formats. The software also simplifies presentation of results by permitting elements of the inputs and outputs to be saved into a document as part of a report or multimedia presentation.

In their responses to member questions, they indicated that the HCM 2000 includes the analyses of roundabouts within the chapter on unsignalized intersections. It provides an assessment of capacity, but the development of service levels is awaiting the completion of a major research effort underway on roundabouts. That research will not be completed for several years.

May Meeting

The section met on May 17 at the Nuuanu YMCA.

The Nominations Commitee presented the following slate of candidates for the year 2000-2001:

President: Pete Pascua
Vice President: Terry Bothers
Secretary: Richelle Suzuki
Treasurer: Fred Smoot
Any members who wish to nominate other candidates should submit the nomination by petition signed by a minimum of five (5) ITE members to Susan Uejo, c/o Austin Tsutsumi & Associates, Inc., 501 Sumner St. Suite 521, Honolulu HI, 96817-5031. The deadline for receipt of nominations by petition is May 27, 2000.

The featured speaker at the meeting was Alvin Takeshita, Traffic Safety Engineer, Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT).

Mr. Takeshita gave a comprehensive description of the HDOT Highway Safety Program including the legislative background beginning with the Highway Safety Act of 1967, highway safety standards including traffic records and surveillance of crash locations, a summary of highway crash statistics and trends, and legal matters.

He pointed out that new federal rules require states to address the problem of repeat offenders. Also, Hawaii is one of few states without a motorcycle helmet law. A loss of a percentage of federal highway construction monies is applied to these states.

Currently, crashes involving injury, fatality of property damage in excess of $3,000 are classified as major accidents requiring detail reporting. The minimum damage figure was raised from $1,000 during the early 1990s. This should be borne in mind when interpreting highway safety statistics.

Litigation costs and court awards that come out of highway funds reduce the funding levels available for construction. In Mr. Takeshita’s opinion, it is important to include human factors (e.g., driver behavior, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) as contributing factors to crashes and not blame only the highway.

Title 23, United States Code, Section 409 provides that crash data cannot be subject to discovery or used in court. State and county laws also restrict the use of the data in court (287-14, HRS and Sec.15-5.3, R.O. of Honolulu).

April Meeting

Mr. Paul Won from the City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services (City DTS) was the featured speaker at the April 19th luncheon meeting of the Hawaii Section. He provided an update of the City’s continuing community-based traffic calming program to improve streets for non-motorized users. The City has completed a first round of studies and project implementation, and is now beginning a second series of studies and project designs.

The City seeks to maximize the amount of community input in the planning and design process both to develop projects that both address particular concerns of the community and are likely to receive extensive community support during and after implementation. The general procedure in each cycle of the traffic calming planning and design process is as follows:

Each of the nine City Council members selects a community within his/her district for investigation of potential traffic calming actions. Since the City and County encompass the entire island of Oahu, the communities range from high-density residential apartment areas in the urban core, to suburban areas, to small outlying communities in rural areas.
The City DTS conducts a workshop/planning charrette in each of the selected communities to inform the community of the role of traffic calming and what mechanisms may be incorporated in a plan. The meeting is advertised and mailers are sent to community organizations to solicit broad participation. The attendees use area maps to identify those locations they consider as the worst problem areas for non-motorized street users in their community, and to suggest potential actions.
The City DTS staff and consultants conduct the necessary studies for each area to select and refine the suggested actions, or to identify other potential actions, and to develop preliminary plans.
A second workshop is held in each community to present the proposed traffic calming plans, or alternative plans, and to solicit community input.
Based upon the community input, the City DTS then selects a final set of traffic calming actions in each community for design and implementation.
For the first round of communities, traffic calming actions were designed for about 50 locations or areas. All have been funded and about 10% have been completed to date.

The City is now initiating the traffic calming process in a second round of communities. Based on the first round, the City is also seeking to establish some uniform guidelines to assist in the process. The City Board of Water Supply has been asked to develop approaches and plans to provide low-maintenance landscaping for incorporation in the different types of traffic calming devices. City DTS also seeks to develop standard drawings and details for traffic calming devices for developers who want to incorporate these into their plans.

Susan Uejo, Chair of the Nominations Committee, announced that nominations by petition for the Hawaii Section officers for 2000-2001 must be submitted by June 3rd. Ballots will be mailed to members by June 18th and the election results will be announced at the annual meeting on July 18th.

March Meeting

In place of its usual luncheon meeting, the Hawaii Section toured the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facilities in Honolulu at the Diamond Head Crater on March 21, 2000. The ITE members were provided an overview of the facility mission and operations by FAA air controllers Jeffery Sayer and Loriann Cooper, and then taken on a walk-through of the control center to observe actual air control operations.

The Honolulu Center monitors and controls aircraft operating on Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) within a 300-mile radius of the Hawaiian Islands chain. Most of the operations beyond the 300-mile radius are handled by Oakland Center in California. The Oakland Center hands over control of the inbound aircraft to Honolulu Center at the 300-mile marker point, and Honolulu Center confirms or modifies each aircraft’s approach to the local airport. For Honolulu International Airport (HIA), the Honolulu Center air controllers hand over the aircraft to the HIA Control Tower at 25 miles from the airport. For most other airports in the Islands, the Honolulu Center staff continue control of the aircraft through the landing. The exceptions are the military airfields, where take-off and landing is usually controlled from the individual airfield control towers, as well as the military aircraft operations within the large military training areas out over the ocean.

The monitors used by the air controllers at Honolulu Center display the aircraft information obtained from radar at four sites in the Islands:

The Mt. Kaala site on Oahu provides 360 degree coverage of most of the 300-mile area
The Paoa site on the Big Island provides overlapping coverage primarily to the east
The Kokee site on Kauai provides overlapping coverage primarily to the west
The Maui site provides overlapping coverage primarily to the north and south.
Each aircraft is depicted on the Center’s monitors with a tag indicating the aircraft identification, aircraft type, altitude, speed and direction on a “real time” basis from the radar feeds. The Center also has the same information available from satellite tracking of the aircraft through Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment. At present, the radar feeds are used for the control operations since the GPS feed is only refreshed once every few minutes.

The communication between the Honolulu and Oakland Centers is primarily via computer, while communication with the aircraft is largely by voice. Prior to flights, pilots file a flight plan that is transmitted to the Centers. As the aircraft is closed for departure, the Center will contact the pilot to approve the flight plan, possibly modified with a delay from the pilot’s planned departure time in order to provide proper horizontal spacing from other aircraft on that particular airway at the pilot’s planned altitude and speed. The Center will also offer the pilot alternative altitudes and/or speeds that would allow departure at or closer to the requested time. The pilot notifies the Center and Control Tower of his/her choice and then departs at the assigned time.

February Meeting

The February meeting was held on Tuesday, February 22 at the Nuuanu YMCA in Honolulu.

The members in attendance represented the public and private sectors and the University of Hawaii.

Goro Sulijoadikusumo reported that February 22-27 is Engineers’ Week that culminates in the Annual Awards Banquet. He also reported that the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies has obtained a proclamation from the Mayor of Honolulu.

C. S. Papacostas said that the ITE section has again cooperated with the City and County of Honolulu to prepare a display for Engineers’ Week. This year’s theme is pedestrian safety. The display area is located at the Pearlridge Shopping Center (Uptown). He expressed his appreciation to Keith Niiya who chaired the committee and Ty Fukumitsu of the Honolulu Traffic Control Center who again produced an excellent public education product.

Susan Uejo indicated that the Technical Committee (headed by Julian Ng) is organizing a meeting with State and County transportation engineers to launch this year’s ITE-Hawaii initiative of developing Traffic Impact Study guidelines.

Wayne Yoshioka reported that his committee on Legislative Affairs has prepared testimony in support of a bill that would require the courts to accept computer-processed accident reconstructions from photographs as admissible evidence. The testimony was approved by the Board and submitted to the legislature. Other transportation bills were discussed by the group.

Casey Abe announced a move by the Hawaii DOT to take advantage of the Agency Affiliate Membership program and led a discussion on ways in which the section can provide technical assistance to the agency.

A workshop on ITS software ascquisition is scheduled for April 17-18. Announcements of this joint ITE – Hawaii Local Technical Assistance Program (HLTAP) will be mailed soon.

January Meeting

The meeting was held on January 19, 2000 in Honolulu at the Japanese Cultural Center, Meeting Rm. 203

Bill Hecker of Hecker Design, Ltd., Birmingham, Alabama was the featured speaker on the City & County of Honolulu ADA Self Evaluation and Transition Plan

Vice President Pete Pascua introduced Mr. Hecker and described his involvement with the Self Evaluation and Transition Plan documents for the Counties of Hawaii and Maui and the City and County of Honolulu.

The Self Evaluation report and Transition Plan were developed to fulfill the City and County of Honolulu’s (City) requirements under the implementing regulations for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) found at 28 CFR 35.105(a), and the Consent Decree and Order filed in McConnell et. Al. V. City and County of Honolulu in USDC Civil No. 96-01111 DAE – May 5, 1997.

The Self Evaluation process described by the report is limited to those service, policy and practice issues relating to the City’s streets and sidewalks (i.e., fully improved pedestrian circulation routes within the jurisdiction of the City, including access to bus stops). Architectural modification (i.e., physical change) recommendations relating to streets and sidewalks are addressed in the City’s Transition Plan related to Curb Ramps. The Self Evaluation report was intended to address all of the City’s programs, services and activities relating to streets and sidewalks, and to identify those policies and practices that may not allow people with disabilities to fully participate in their use.

The Transition Plan is a schedule for the planned installation of new curb ramps and the modification of existing curb ramps to ensure that “program accessibility” is provided for disabled users of the sidewalks within the City and County of Honolulu public rights-of-way. The Transition Plan is required as part of the settlement agreement made with plaintiffs who alleged that the City’s efforts to ensure “program accessibility” were insufficient under the ADA. An earlier ADA Transition Plan was prepared in 1993, but it was a request-based process for determining the number and location of curb ramps to be installed. While the ADA requires the City to address requests, the regulations also require a more “proactive” or strategic approach to curb ramp installation. With regard to the existing curb ramps along sidewalks, many do not comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines – a newer design standard than those used during the 1970’s – 1980’s. Of these non-compliant curb ramps, many will need to be modified or replaced. Sidewalk approaches to bus stops were also noted in the complaint against the City and the Department of Transportation Services may currently be developing an ADA Transition Plan for bus stops.

The City Council by Resolution adopted the ADA Curb Ramp Transition Plan and its associated document, the ADA Self Evaluation for Streets & Sidewalks prior to February 5, 1999 to comply with the court’s order. Implementation of the Self Evaluation recommendations began immediately thereafter, and the settlement agreement allows for a 6-year implementation period (ending February 5, 2005) for curb ramp work.

A total of 6,780 intersections were surveyed for ADA compliance, and those requiring new curb ramps or modification of existing ramps were ranked based upon a range of factors relating to their use by individuals with disabilities. According to this priority ranking and cost estimate for individual improvements, 2,889 intersections should be modified over the fiscal years 2000-2005 at a total projected cost of $50,586,000.00. Four design consultants were selected by the City to initiate the design and construction of curb ramps for fiscal year 2000 curb ramp work.

The concept of program accessibility originated with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and, along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is at the core of the non-discrimination provisions of ADA.

Program accessibility is also the primary consideration for curb ramp modifications addressed in the Transition Plan. The intent of program accessibility is stated in the following excerpt from the implementing regulations of the ADA:

“Except as otherwise provided in 35.150, no qualified individual with a disability shall, because of public entity’s facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.” 28 CFR 35.149 Program Accessibility

Curb ramps and sidewalks fall under the very broad definition of “facilities” mentioned in the regulations and, therefore, are covered as part of the program accessibility requirement of ADA. The reference to Section 35.150 ties this requirement to additional compliance concepts that are critical to the planning and implementation of curb ramp modification.

The concept of “viewed in its entirety” provides the context for evaluating the need for modifications of the purposes of program accessibility. Section 35.150 of the ADA regulations requires that the City’s services, programs, and activities be accessible to individuals with disabilities “when viewed in its entirety”. With respect to the City’s streets and sidewalks, the program is the network of “improved pedestrian circulation routes”. Item 1 of the following regulation excerpt indicates that not every street corner with a sidewalk requires a curb ramp as long as program accessibility is provided “when viewed in its entirety” or when the entire network of sidewalks is considered.

“A public entity shall operate each service, program or activity so that the service, program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This paragraph does not:

Necessarily require a public entity to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
Require a public entity to take an action that would threaten or destroy the historic significance of a historic property; or,
Require a public entity to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens…If an action would result in an alteration or such burdens, a public entity shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by the public entity.”
Section 35.150 Existing Facilities

The limitations pertaining to historic facilities, fundamental alterations and undue financial and administrative burdens offer some flexibility in determining which intersections need to be modified. In addition, a “technical infeasibility” limitation that relates to how a new accessibility feature can be installed into an existing sidewalk with specific site characteristics that prevent full compliance with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) may be invoked.