2008 Meeting Highlights

November Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section November Meeting was held on November 20, 2008 at the University of Hawaii, Holmes Hall. Mr. Steven Yoshida, Consultant Traffic Design Project Manager with the Department of Transportation, made a presentation on Roadside Design and Crash Testing. Along with Mr. Yoshida’s presentation, Mr. John Tolle, of the FHWA Resource Center, presented a short presentation on the capabilities of Dynasmart-P.

The presentation by Mr. Yoshida summarized the evolution of roadside design on a national basis and discussed Hawaii DOT’s policies and practices for designing roadsides. He also introduced various crash tested hardware used within the state of Hawaii. Several crash testing videos, courtesy of FHWA, was shown to reinforce crash testing methods and how each system performs under testing.

Mr. Tolle’s presented the capabilities of Dynasmart-P, which is a state of the art dynamic network traffic operational planning tool that supports transportation network planning and traffic operations decisions. It includes the evaluation of ITS deployment options through simulation and dynamic traffic assignment.


October Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Annual Meeting was held on October 23, 2008, at Wilson Okamoto Corporation Conference Room.

Laura Mau, Senior Planner with Wilson Okamoto Corporation, made a presentation about Phase 1A of the Lahaina Bypass project. The first phase of the Lahaina Bypass Corridor was scheduled to begin construction in August 2007. A Design-Build team was contracted, final plans and permits were near completion, and the Lahaina community eagerly awaited news of the groundbreaking ceremony. In the months preceding construction, however, a large archaeological site was inadvertently discovered within the proposed ROW. The discovery set in motion a maze of regulatory requirements, triggered an unprecedented series of community consultation, and influenced HDOT’s public outreach process. The project team evaluated alternative alignments as a possible option for the project that would allow the road to avoid the agricultural terraces found last year at the construction site. Environmental or archaeological studies were conducted for the recommended road realignment.


September Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section September Meeting was held on September 26, 2008, at the Municipal Building. Ms. Kathleen Chu, Project Manager with CH2M Hill made a presentation on Flexibility in Transportation Design Standards, County of Hawai’i.

The presentation summarized the project’s approach and experience while updating County of Hawai’i roadway/transportation standards. This new standard emphasizes design flexibility that allows choices within a framework of design controls based on local context. Several design control such as design speed and design vehicle were used to specify the roadway geometry based on the guideline from the AASHTO Green Book.


July Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section July Meeting was held on July 24, 2008, at the Municipal Building. Mr. Darin Mar of DTS made a presentation regarding the current status of TheBoat and Mr. Roger Morton, President of OTS made a presentation on the current trends of TheBus.

Mr. Mar discussed current TheBoat scheduling issues and adjustments. Ridership and parameters to trigger continued efforts were discussed. Mr. Morton shared details regarding the state of TheBus on Oahu and how current travel times compare to TheBoat. The impact of rising gas prices and TheBus’ purchasing methodology were presented. In addition, ridership trends and limitations on travel times in the downtown corridor were discussed.


June Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Annual Meeting was held on June 26, 2008, at the Municipal Building. At the beginning of the meeting, ITE secretary, Honglong Li shared his experience about his trip to China recently.

The guest speakers were Dr. Panos Prevedouros, a Professor with Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Prevedouros presented his studies at several bottleneck intersections in Honolulu. The study explored the operational benefits by tunneling one-lane through movement. The microsimulation in VISSIM showed considerable improvement in terms of traffic operations during the peak hours. Dr. Prevedouros indicated that further civil engineering is needed to investigate the feasibility of the tunnels. During Q & A session, Dr. Prevedouros also demonstrated his simulation idea and work on Pearl Harbor tunnel.


April Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Annual Meeting was held on April 24, 2008, at the Municipal Building. Based upon a tally of the votes received for the 2008 elections, the following were elected as the incoming officers:

Don Hamada, President
Steven Yoshida, Vice President
Honglong Li, Secretary
Robert Nehmad, Treasurer

Additionally, Cathy Leong informed us that she was appointed District 6 Student Endowment Fund Committee Chair. The committee is asking for contributions to reach the Endowment Fund goal of $500,000 to be self-sustaining in generating $40,000 a year to fully fund all the endeavors undertaken by the Student Initiatives Program. If every member pledged $75, we would reach our goal.

The guest speakers were Abe Wong, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator of the Hawaii FHWA Office and Jeff Chang for Brian Sekeguchi, Deputy Director of Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT). Mr. Wong presented an Update on Future Federal Highways Funding and Program. He touched upon the TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU Acts and informed us that Highway Trust Fund is in fact, about to go into the negative. In 2006, when SAFETEA-LU was passed, there was $16 billion with a plan to sustain, but the estimates were inaccurate in spending amounts and the raise in gas prices. He identified possible short term fixes with the most likely one being borrowing from the transit account, a request that has already been made in the President’s budget.

Mr. Chang showed us a video on the HNL (Honolulu International Airport) Modernization Program and identified the changes being made at each of the seven (HNL, OGG, LIH, KOA, ITO, MKK, and LNY) State of Hawaii Airports. HNL is constructing a new parking structure and is working on a new international arrivals corridor with the biggest concern being a replacement for the Wiki Wiki Shuttle. A people mover or automated people mover (APM) and moving walkways are probably the best alternatives for HNL.


March Meeting Summary

ITE held the March meeting joint with ASCE on 3/20/2008. Mr. Brennon Morioka Interim Director of Hawaii Department of Transportation, briefed the Hawaii Harbors Modernization viagra 100mg Plan. The Hawaii Harbors User Group (HHUG), a non-profit maritime industry group comprised of major harbor users, was formed in 2005 to help the state identify and prioritize harbor improvement needs. Working with HHUG, the Department of Transportation, Harbors Division, and other state departments developed a comprehensive and system-wide strategy to address current and future harbor needs within an expedited six-year time-frame. The Harbors Modernization Plan calls for major improvements to six commercial harbors on four islands.

Later Mr. Wayne Yoshioka, Director of Department of Transportation Services, City and County of Honolulu, updated the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project. Mr. Yoshioka will discuss recent developments occurring with the alignment, technology selection, and procurement procedure, etc. He will also cover the spikes ahead before the first rail can be laid down, and the importance of this multi-billion dollar project.


February Meeting Summary

The February meeting was held on April 21, 2008 at the Municipal Building. The guest speakers were David Arakawa, Director of the Land Use Research Foundation (LURF) and David Tanoue, Deputy Director of Department of Planning and Permitting.

Mr. Arakawa informed us that LURF is the voice of landowners and developers in Hawaii. It was established in 1979 to promote and advance the interests of the development community, particularly in the areas of land use laws and regulations. Over the years, LURF has been a strong voice of reason, working to represent the interests of its membership and at the same time find common ground for the concerns of government, business, and the community. LURF accomplishes this through a three-pronged program of Research, Information, and Advocacy.

Mr. Tanoue briefed us his views on Transit Oriented Development (TOD), traffic related land use regulation, the city’s position on Environmental Assessment. TOD will allow density and grow surrounding the planned fixed guideway stations. It not only benefits the surrounding communities, but also relieves the growth pressure for North Shore and East Honolulu. Only with the planed growth in Ewa, Kapolei, and Central Oahu, “keep country country” is possible. One of the big challenges for TOD is the areas such as Moilili and Makiki where many small lots have multiple land owners.


January Meeting Summary

The January luncheon meeting was held on January 10, 2008 at the Municipal Building. Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa was the guest speaker. Ms. Hanabusa informed us the issues regarding to traffic, safety, and planning on the Leeward side. Congestion during peak hours and safety are the major concerns along Farrington Highway in Waianae. Ms Hanabusa emphasized the needs for utility undergrounding. In December 2007, 16 utility poles along Farrington Highway snapped or were bowled over by wind gusts up to 70 mph, knocking out power to hundreds of residents for days and choking traffic on the Leeward Coast. Some of the damaged poles had been replaced little more than a year before, when strong winds in March 2006 toppled more than a dozen poles. Because there is no alternative access to Farrington Highway, the accidents cause long traffic delay too. She understands that utility undergrounding is costly project and she is willing to discuss with the administration to phase the project.

Ms. Hanabusa also touched upon the issues of Waianae community being disadvantageous compared to other communities on Oahu. Waianae holds the only two landfills and only live fire exercise field on the island. The majority of the Hawaiian Homestead homes and homeless reside in Nanakuli. The infrastructure is falling behind other communities.

Ms. Hanabusa also shared her perspectives on Superferry and the city landfill issues.