On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, the Section meeting was held at the Fasi Municipal Building. In the absence of President Pete Pascua, Director Mike Packard opened the meeting and announced that we do not have a section meeting scheduled for next month, but be on the look out for a happy hour for the month of December.
Vice President Natasha Soriano asked to go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves. Natasha introduced speaker Mark Garrity, Deputy Director of the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services, an AICP certified Urban Planner with over 20 years of experience.
Mark spoke about the King Street Cycle Track, which began construction on September 8, 2014, and should be completed in about 4 weeks to officially open on December 6, 2014. He explained that cycle track is a pilot project with the design done in-house and constructed by the City’s Department of Facility Maintenance with low cost materials. Mark went through a PowerPoint presentation and spoke about different aspects of the project. The green paint is a new FHWA standard for bike facilities, but there are various ways that it can be used. For King Street, the cycle track is being painted green through the intersections and in front of driveways to indicate a conflict between bicyclists and motorist. For the first 6 months the track will be for one way traffic, going with the flow of vehicular traffic. After the 6 six months the 10’ bike track will be divided for two way traffic, allowing bicyclist the convenience of being able to go back and forth on King Street, hopefully encouraging more bike use. Before data was taken, a travel time study allowed parking on King Street and found that it did not affect peak traffic flow, and therefore shifting King Street to 5 lanes from 6 should not heavily impact traffic. Bike counts were taken of bicyclists riding on the street, sidewalk, and parallel streets; and community outreach was conducted including community meetings with the Moiliili-McCully Neighborhood board and passing out flyers to every business along King Street. The project consisted of working with the stakeholders such as the City Council, Fire, Police, and the Hawaii Bicycling League, and public education was done through flyers as well as a project webpage and facebook page. The rules of the Track are no mopeds, skateboards, or segways, which means there needs to be a change in the law that currently says mopeds are supposed to be riding in the bike lane; drivers shall yield to bicyclists, and bicyclists shall yield to pedestrians.
Mark took the opportunity to share information about other bike developments. He had a slide about “sharrows,” pavement markings to indicate shared lanes for both vehicles and bikes. It was also mentioned that the other bike plans are still in effect, and when Beretania Street gets resurfaced soon, it will get a traditional bike lane.
Mark opened the floor to questions, and City Bicycle Coordinator Chris Sayers shared more information about the project as questions were asked. There was a good discussion amongst attendees, including how we educate everyone on the proper use, how do we encourage bicyclist to ride safely on this and other streets, and how will we know if the project has been a success or not.