HONOLULU — As part of the annual “Beat the School Jam” campaign, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced today plans to postpone construction-related lane closures during daylight hours on major Oahu highways on Monday, August 25, through Friday, August 29, to alleviate traffic congestion during the week when approximately 51,900 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 25,” said HDOT Interim Director Ford Fuchigami. “More than 50,000 university and private school students will be returning to classes, so we encourage people to make use of alternative modes of transportation like carpooling, bicycling, walking or riding TheBus to avoid the increased traffic.”
For up-to-date traffic information, motorists can download the HDOT’s GoAkamai App for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices (see links below). The GoAkamai App provides traffic congestion information, drive times and images from over 200 traffic cameras on Oahu’s state freeways, highways and roads.
“The GoAkamai website and App gives motorists more traffic information than ever before and we appreciate the state HDOT’s partnership with the City and County in the development of these great resources,” said Mike Formby, Director of Transportation Services, City and County of Honolulu. “GoAkamai brings together the critical information commuters need to actively manage their routes and travel options, whether by car, bike, TheBus or foot.”
GoAkamai App users are reminded to access this information via their smartphones before getting behind the wheel, as state law prohibits the use of a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle.
Commuters are also 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 HDOT and the City and County of Honolulu.
The Honolulu Police Department is asking drivers to plan ahead, leave early, and listen to traffic updates. “Pay attention to the drivers around you, especially when merging on and off highways,” said Police Chief Louis Kealoha. “In addition, drivers should make sure that their car is in good working condition before heading out. A stalled vehicle that runs out of gas or has a flat tire will quickly back up traffic and will impact all of the cars behind it.” During this period, the HPD Traffic Division will be monitoring major roadways to assist with the traffic flow.
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 Kahala 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 25 through 29, 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 21 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 848-4500 or visit www.thebus.org.
GoAkamai App Download