DOT Launches Annual “Beat The School Jam” Campaign, ZipperLane Requirements To Be Lowered, Daytime Lane Closures Postponed

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 in News

08/09/12

HONOLULU — As part of the annual “Beat the School Jam” campaign, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today plans to postpone construction-related lane closures during daylight hours on major highways on Monday, August 20, through Friday, August 24, to alleviate traffic congestion during the week when approximately 40,000 university, college, and private school students begin their fall semesters.

“We want to remind motorists to expect additional traffic on our roadways, especially beginning Monday, August 20,” said DOT Director Glenn Okimoto.  “57,000 university and private school students will be returning to classes throughout the month of August, so we encourage people to make use of alternative modes of transportation like carpooling, bicycling, walking or riding TheBus to avoid the increased traffic.”

To help maintain traffic flow with the added congestion, DOT also announced that ridership requirements for the H-1 Freeway ZipperLane and the Nimitz Highway Contraflow Lane will be modified beginning on Monday, August 13.  Vehicles with two or more passengers will be able to use the lanes for the full operating hours from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m., during weekday morning rush-hours.

“The ZipperLane ridership changes will help to balance the traffic flow by maximizing the use of all available lanes into the Honolulu area,” said Okimoto.  “The changes will begin on Monday, August 13, to give motorists an extra week to adjust their schedules to find the best possible fit.”

Commuters are encouraged to take advantage of the www.GoAkamai.org traffic information website to make commutes easier and faster.  The website is continuously updated and provides a color-coded congestion map and snapshots from over 200 traffic cameras around Oahu.  Also provided are links to both city and state construction lane closures and trip-planning information from TheBus.  The website is a collaborative effort of the DOT and the City and County of Honolulu.

Motorists are advised to adjust their commute times accordingly to avoid peak travel periods and are reminded to properly maintain and inspect their vehicles to avoid becoming potential road hazards.

Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) tow trucks will be on-duty to provide free emergency roadside service to keep traffic moving on the H-1, H-2 and H-201 Moanalua Freeways between the Kunia, Waipio, and University areas from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, excluding holidays. Stranded motorists can call FSP at 841-HELP (4357).  For more info, visit www.fsphawaii.com.

Transportation alternatives include biking to work, taking TheBus, and signing students up for public or private school buses.  Carpooling or vanpooling with a neighbor or friend can also allow motorists to utilize both High Occupancy Vehicle lanes (two or more individuals per vehicle) on our state highways and the H-1 Freeway ZipperLane and Nimitz Highway Contraflow Lane.

During the daytime construction hiatus on August 20 through 24, emergency closures, nighttime construction and roadwork that does not involve lane closures, such as shoulder maintenance or landscaping work, may still be scheduled.

Other alternative commuting options include the following:

·         Along with regular city bus service, TheBus offers express service during the morning and afternoon rush-hours and will be working with schools and businesses to encourage more ridership.  Students from sixteen universities and colleges can purchase discounted U-Pass bus passes. Employers can participate in the City’s tax-deductible bus pass program for their employees.  For more information, call 848-5555 or visit www.thebus.org.

·         The Leeward Oahu Transportation Management Association (LOTMA) manages programs designed to accommodate the growing travel needs of Leeward Oahu communities including free carpool matching.  For more information, call 677-RIDE (7433) or visit www.lotma.org.

DOT Launches Annual "Beat The School Jam" Campaign, ZipperLane Requirements To Be Lowered, Daytime Lane Closures Postponed

President of OTS, Roger Morton; HPD Police Chief, Louis Kealoha; State Department of Transportation Director, Glenn Okimoto; City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services Director, Wayne Yoshioka; HPD Major, Kurt Kendro