2002 Meeting Highlights

December Meeting Highlights

On December 20, 2002, Ms. Charlene Shibuya, former Traffic Engineer for Maui County DPWWM, discussed Maui County’s undulating experience with speed humps with ITE members. Ms. Shibuya indicated at that time traffic engineers generally said no to speed humps because the MUTCD did not recognize speed humps as a traffic control device. The State law/administrative rules require roadway designs to follow MUTCD. Also, if you wanted to try something other than what MUTCD required, then approval from the Director of Transportation is needed. Although the DOT Director was concerned about liability problems, Maui County and the State DOT entered into a hold harmless agreement. Maui County agreed to use speed humps only on County local residential roads, not collector roads, and hold the State harmless. Subsequently, Maui County developed a speed hump ordinance, which passed in late 1995. It required 60% consent of the all the property owners within 500 feet of where the speed humps would be located. Maui DPWWM subsequently developed the administrative rules and put in layman’s definition of local residential street – it has direct access, lowest level of mobility and generally doesn’t service through traffic. The basis of design and placement of speed humps followed the March 1993 guidelines published by ITE. The County has received 730 requests to date. When a request is received, the first check is to see if the road is eligible and to make sure it is not a collector road. The County asks for a block captain for a single point of contact and that person obtains the signatures to meet the required consent percentage of abutting property owners. Speed humps have been installed on 237 streets and the rest are on the wait list, pending funding.

The County was interested in addressing the speeding problems in other ways beside speed humps. About year and half ago, Maui DPWWM decided they wanted new subdivisions to have traffic calming elements in their design, specifically to avoid speed humps. Ms. Shibuya explained that Maui County just passed a traffic calming bill; the new regulations will apply to new subdivisions that will receive final approval after January 1, 2005. The traffic calming administrative rules are yet to be developed, but consultants need to be aware of the new ordinance.

There have been objections to speed humps and in early 2002 the Maui County Council increased required property owner consent to 80%. Other speed reduction devices that Maui DPWWM has installed include raised crosswalks at intersections (only at one side) and speed table at mid-block crosswalk locations near schools. Truck restrictions in certain neighborhoods have also had a positive effect. At this time, the Maui speed hump program is being folded into the new traffic calming program as it will give the County a wider range of options to deal with speeding in residential neighborhoods.


November Meeting Highlights

Mr. Tom Potter, President of Reno A&E, gave a presentation about loop geometry on November 12, 2002. Mr. Potter explained that if the geometry of loop system is not correct, then the electronic circuitry can not compensate for poor loop design. Millions of dollars have been spent on research in the last 40 years and loop detectors remain the most reliable detection system for traffic signal control systems. The various types of loops that have been tested include 6’ x 6’ loop, long loops, figure 8 loops, round loops, square loops rotated 45 degrees and the installation of different numbers of loops.

The loop geometry and sensitivity required depends upon what the loop needs to do. For highways and streets, loops are required to detect automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and sometimes bicycles. The size of the loop is a function of the traffic signal control system and the type of vehicles to be detected. For an average left turn lane, a 6’ x 6’ loop is suitable for the detection of vehicles. The installation of a loop requires a sawcut so it can be buried beneath the pavement. When the loop is hooked up to the electronics, a small current passes through it and an electric field is created around the wire. At the simplest level, loops measure inductance changes and the loop works as a metal detector. When a vehicle’s conductive material enters the loop area, it causes a change in the electric field and it is interpreted as loading effect. A general rule of thumb is the height detection of a loop is about 2/3 of the shortest distance of the width or length. For example, the detection height of a 6’ x 50’ loop is 6’ x 2/3 = 4’. Depending on the electronics, you may be able to increase the sensitivity to adjust this detection height.

Mr. Potter noted that the longer you make the loop, the higher you have to turn up sensitivity. However, increased sensitivity can cause detection problems for motorcycles. Sometimes, the loop may sense an automobile in adjacent lane better than a motorcycle resting on the loop because automobiles create a greater loading effect on the loop. In addition, four 6’ x 6’ loops which are spaced 9’ apart may be designed to count vehicles with 97 percent accuracy. Spacing can be 9 or 10 feet, but there is slight loss of count accuracy if 10 feet spacing is used. Motorcycles can be better detected with four separate 6’ x 6’ loops than a single 50’ x 6’ loop.

The most important aspect of loop detection is reliability. Proper geometry and use correct materials (wire size and insulation) are the critical factors for reliable loop detection. Reliability is an important safety concern especially when loops are utilized to detect a vehicle crossing a train track or sensing airplanes crossing an airport taxiway.

Annual Meeting

The Annual luncheon meeting was held on August 29, 2002 at the Willows Restaurant in Honolulu. President Wayne Kawano opened the meeting with committee reports and general announcements. First, President Kawano reported that the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) had released the final draft of its overall work program. Second, Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Wayne Yoshioka reported on several of the bills that passed during the recent legislative session. Third, Secretary Cathy Leong announced the winner of the ITE Hawaii Chapter logo contest. The winning logo was submitted by Cheryl Yoshida from Wilson Okamoto & Associates, Inc. The new logo will be posted on the ITE Hawaii Chapter website and be printed in the Wiliki and Westernite publications. Finally, The results of the 2002 ITE Hawaii Chapter elections were announced. They results were as follows:

  • Richelle Suzuki, President
  • Cathy Leong, Vice President
  • Susan Uejo, Secretary
  • Fred Smoot, Treasurer

The featured speaker, Richard Romer, ITE International Director, assisted with the induction of the newly elected Hawaii Chapter officers. Following the induction ceremony, Mr. Romer presented the District 6 Fur-Lined Pot Award to Cathy Leong. This perpetual award is traditionally given to the most prolific writer in District 6 and is held for a year before being passed on to the next winner. Mr. Romer then proceeded with his presentation about ITE. He discussed the current status of ITE’s membership, services, and opportunities, as well as, shared photos of the past and present ITE staff.

August Meeting Highlights

The August luncheon meeting was held on August 1, 2002 at the office of Wilson Okamoto & Associates, Inc. in Honolulu. The featured speaker was Dan Davidson who is the Executive Director of the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii (LURF) and also serves as the Coordinator for the Ewa Highways Master Plan Group (EHMPG). Mr. Davidson explained that the EHMPG is comprised of representatives from major Hawaii landowners and developers, as well as the State of Hawaii Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii (HCDCH). EHMPG partnered with the State Department of Transportation to commission the Ewa Highway Master Plan (EHMP). The master plan addresses the current and future transportation needs for the region based upon a 2010 horizon year rather than full build-out. There are six major highway projects identified in the plan that are needed to accommodate the projected growth in the area resulting from private development. They are as follows:

  • Construction of a new Kapolei Interchange
  • Improvements to the existing Makakilo Interchange
  • Completion of the Kapolei Parkway
  • Widening of Fort Barrette Road
  • Widening of Fort Weaver Road
  • Construction of the North-South Road and Interchange

Utilizing cost estimates for these six major highway projects (approximately $194 million), a “fair share” plan was developed for the region based upon both technical and policy considerations. The “fair share” for private developers was determined to be approximately 20% of the total cost of the six major projects (approximately $39 million). This cost was then translated into fee assessments for new development dependent on the land use. For example, a developer constructing a new single-family home would be assessed a fee of $1,836. The plan was then introduced into legislation as Bill 52 and is scheduled for adoption this year. The following are a few additional key points addressed by the bill:

The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting would be responsible for collecting the impact fees is in conjunction with required building permits.
The assessed fees would be transferred to the State where they would be placed in a special trust fund for expenditure only on projects outlined in the EHMP.
The EHMP shall be reviewed and revised as appropriate every five years, at which time amendments may be recommended.


June Meeting Highlights

The June luncheon meeting was held on June 25, 2002 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The featured speaker was Honglong Li a recent graduate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa who presented his PhD dissertation entitled “Adaptive Signal Control.” Honglong explained that his dissertation involved developing the theory to support an adaptive signal control system that would predict traffic flows and adjust the traffic signal timing accordingly. Based upon data collected during a set period of time utilizing data collection equipment such as detector loops, the system identifies the critical queue and predicts the traffic flow for the next period. Then based upon the projected traffic flow, the system adjusts the traffic signal timing accordingly. The effectiveness of the system was evaluated utilizing simulation software. The anticipated delays for the adaptive traffic signal system were compared to those for pretimed and actuated signal systems for undersaturated and oversaturated conditions. The comparison showed that the traffic delays under the adaptive signal system were less than under the other two signal systems.

The conclusion of the dissertation was that the adaptive signal system showed promising improvements in traffic conditions, but that the improvements might be limited at intersections with unbalanced queues. In addition, the system is not applicable to grid networks and more ideal for isolated, rural intersections.

May Meeting Highlights

The May luncheon meeting was held on May 16, 2002 at the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building in Honolulu. Vice-President Richelle Suzuki announced that ITE was looking for additional sites to host the Saturday, October 26, 2002 PTOE certification exam. Members would be contacted shortly to verify if there was enough interest to host an exam in Hawaii.

The featured speaker was Lisa Reinke of Belt Collins Hawaii who spoke about the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail project. The Pearl Harbor Historic Trail project originated as a grant application under the federal Empowerment Zone Aiea shoreline redevelopment. The project evolved into a regional master plan to develop an 18-mile long shared use (bicycle-pedestrian) path and historic railway.

The community’s goal is for the trail to be developed as a world-class heritage and recreation corridor that enhances the communities from Aiea to Nanakuli. Ownership of the required 40 foot right-of-way for the trail varies along its stretch between the Navy, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), the State of Hawaii, and other private owners. The implementation of the plan will be costly and face a number of infrastructure challenges.

The major challenge for the portion of the trail between Nanakuli and Ewa will be the cost of acquiring the needed right-of-way and realigning the trail. The major challenge for the portion of the trail between Ewa and Aiea will be the required infrastructure improvements. There are a number of bridges along that segment, as well as 12 street crossings and 3 tunnels that would need upgrades or repairs. For example, there is a tunnel located near McGrew Point that has been backfilled over the years and would need to be excavated for use by the train. In addition to the work required to create the historic trail, over 30 miles of extensions and connections would be required for existing infrastructure to connect to the proposed project.

The master plan was finalized in May 2001 and a volunteer organization was set up to oversee the implementation of the plan. The next step for the project will be the development of a 2 miles section of the trail as a demonstration project. the historic trail, over 30 miles of extensions and connections would be required for existing infrastructure to connect to the proposed project. The master plan was finalized in May 2001 and a volunteer organization was set up to oversee the implementation of the plan. The next step for the project will be the development of a 2 miles section of the trail as a demonstration project.

March Meeting Highlights

The March meeting was a joint dinner meeting held with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on March 21, 2002 at the Maple Garden Restaurant.

The first speaker was Blaine Leonard, ASCE’s District 11 Director who described the extensive preparations made by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) for the recent 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The events for the Winter Games took place at eleven sites within a 40 mile radius of downtown Salt Lake City. In order to accommodate the anticipated influx of people and vehicles, UDOT undertook a public outreach program to educate the public about issues such as which streets would be closed, when those streets would be closed, and approximate travel times that the public could anticipate. In addition, UDOT made modifications to its public transportation system and roadway network within the Salt Lake City area. Some of their projected involved the expansion of their light rail system, addition of special roadway and variable message signs, and the installation of a traffic camera system.

The second speaker was Jack Weaver, Implementation Manager for Poltech International Ltd., who spoke about the “Hawaii Photo Enforcement Demonstration Project: Overview and Technical Details.” Mr. Weaver described how the red light and speed camera systems’ equipment worked and answered questions about the on-going enforcement program.

Engineers’ Week Highlights

Engineers’ Week concluded with a banquet held on February 22, 2002. At the banquet, awards were handed out for the exhibits showcased during the week at Kahala Mall. The ITE Hawaii Chapter received a first place award for their display involving traffic signal operations and equipment. In addition, the ITE Student Chapter received a third place award for their exhibit involving the uses and effectiveness of traffic calming measures.

February Meeting Highlights

The February luncheon meeting was held on February 21, 2002 at the City and County of Honolulu’s Traffic Control Center. The meeting included a tour of the traffic control center and presentations by five featured speakers.

The first speaker was Don Hamada of the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS), Traffic Engineer Division who described City’s current traffic camera system coverage, communications system, and traffic data collection system. He explained that with the help of these tools and an ITS regional architecture plan, the City plans to develop usable products such as traveler information, travel time information, and incident management.

The second speaker was Robert Lung of the Honolulu Police Department who discussed the current traffic laws being proposed by the legislature. The current bills cover topics such as the implementation of a Pedestrian Bill of Rights, revision of the driver’s licensing program, and harsher penalties for racing on the highways.

The third speaker was Paul Steffens of DTS’s Public Transit Division who discussed the City’s on-going efforts to improve public transit. The City is already in the process of converting their bus routes to a hub and spoke system with transit centers and hubs. In addition, they are continuing to make bus stop improvements and plan to implement a community access service, conduct a system wide rider survey, provide user friendly bus information, and implement the use of smart cards in the future.

The fourth speaker was Ty Fukumitsu of DTS’s Traffic Engineer Division who gave an overview of the engineer’s role as a witness in legal proceedings.

The fifth speaker was Jason Yotsuda, a traffic reporter for KSSK radio station, who gave an overview of his job as a traffic reporter and how it has been impacted by the City’s traffic camera system.

January Meeting Highlights

The January luncheon meeting was held on January 14, 2001 at the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building in Honolulu. President Wayne Kawano reported that Engineers Week would be the week of February 16-23. Gordon Lum, Executive Director of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO), reported that the Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) would be meeting on January 16, 2001 to discuss the Aiea-Pearl City Livable Communities project and the revisions to the “Guide for Public Development”publication.

The featured speaker was Matt Nakamoto from the University of Hawaii at Manoa who presented his thesis entitled “Highway Inventory System Using GIS with Data Integration for Inventory and Maintenance.” Matt explained that his thesis originated from a request by the Department of Transportation’s Highway Maintenance Office (HWY-O). The project entailed the creation of an inventory and log based maintenance system using GIS that was able to perform queries with a graphical user interface. This system would enable HWY-O to locate and track maintenance done to light poles, overhead signs, roadside signs, guardrails, and culverts. Currently, HWY-O maintains three separate databases with detailed information regarding existing light poloute and milepost number which can be confusing and/or inaccurate. A possible solution to this problem would be the use of a unique physical ID system.