Photo: Emily Metcalf
Photo: Emily Metcalf

Honolulu Drivers Waste 15 Million Hours a Year at Traffic Lights Because They are Not Coordinated

The results of a study released yesterday won’t surprise Honolulu drivers.

The 2011 Urban Mobility Report on congestion in cities across America said Honolulu is one of 6 cities that could benefit greatly from coordinating its traffic lights.

The delays at traffic lights cost Honolulu drivers more than 15 million hours.

University of Hawaii Engineering Professor Panos Prevedouros, who has worked on projects in Hawaii and around the world to alleviate traffic, said the report shows Oahu’s doesn’t need an expensive rail system to improve its traffic flow.

But it does need to sync its traffic lights, Prevedouros said.

Feds, City Cannot Railroad Parties Out of Lawsuit, Plaintiffs Said

And there is more news about Oahu’s traffic issues.

A group of community leaders and advocacy groups, who filed a lawsuit this Spring against Honolulu’s proposed 5.3 billion dollar rail project, issued a scathing response to the city and federal government’s attempt to have them thrown out as plaintiffs.

The city and federal government said the plaintiffs – which include HonoluluTraffic.com’s Cliff Slater, former Governor Benjamin Cayetano, former Judge Walter Heen and Law professor Randall Roth, along with other community and environmental groups – do not have standing.

The plaintiffs are challenging the validity of the city’s Environmental Impact Statement for the 20-mile steel on steel rail project from Kapolei to Honolulu.

The government claimed some of the Plaintiffs did not participate in the administrative processes.

However, in a press statement, the plaintiffs countered that argument saying they submitted comments throughout the process.

“In our Responses, we point out that the Defendants’ motion has nothing to do with the merits of the case.  In fact, it represents an exceptionally weak attempt by the Defendants to avoid a resolution on the merits.  We take the Defendants’ decision not to engage on substantive issues as a sign that they are aware of the weakness of their legal position,” said Cliff Slater, a retired businessman who founded HonoluluTraffic.com.

“All it takes for the lawsuit to continue is the participation of at least one Plaintiff with standing to sue.  The Defendants’ effort to remove some of the Plaintiffs from this case is a waste of the court’s time and the taxpayers’ money. We continue to view the Defendants’ motion as frivolous.”

The FTA Motion and Plaintiff’s Response are at: http://www.honolulutraffic.com/LegalProcessDocs.htm

Report: How One Hawaiian Paradise Became a Ghost Town

Kukui’ula’s clubhouse, a luxury development on Kauai’s south shore owned by Alexander & Baldwin, received some negative press today in MarketWatch.

Island residents and industry experts have known for several months that the controversial 1,000 acre luxury project that includes golf course, spa, pools and $100-million clubhouse, is not doing well financially.

Developers broke ground on in 2008 and as the report notes, “Only one piece of land has sold in the past year-and-a-half after 80 ‘founder’ lots were sold in 2006 for a total of $110 million.” The author describes the property as “a vacant city-scape scene out of a zombie flick.”

But she ends the report on a high note with a quote from Mick McGuire, head of the Marcato Capital Management fund, which holds 551,881 shares of A&B, who said it is a “wonderful property” with “enormous development potential.”

See the full report in MarketWatch.

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