Road users encouraged to plan and prepare to Beat the School Jam

Posted on Jul 30, 2021 in Highways Posts, Main, News

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) is reminding everyone that thousands of students will return to classrooms in August.

Public schools across the state are back in session on Tuesday, August 3rd and students at many private schools start the school year in mid-August. The University of Hawai‘i system will begin their fall semester on August 23rd. This is a departure from last year when many students were learning at home.

“We want to make sure everyone out on the road or sidewalks is aware of upcoming increases in activity around schools,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Plan for your normal commute to take longer and keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

HDOT will be suspending daytime lane closures on Oahu during the first week of instruction at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Aug. 23 through Aug. 27. This period of restriction on daytime lane closures on state routes is meant to reduce potential delays as motorists get used to new traffic patterns.

HDOT continues to encourage transportation alternatives such as riding the bus, carpooling, shifting work hours, or teleworking. During the ongoing pandemic, those sharing rides are encouraged to take a S.M.A.S.H. approach while commuting. S.M.A.S.H. stands for:

Stay home if you’re sick or symptomatic.

Mask – Wear a fitted, multilayer covering over your nose and mouth.

Air flow – If possible, keep windows open to encourage air flow.

Shouting or singing – Avoid shouting or singing to minimize spread of droplets.

Hand cleaning – Clean your hands before and after sharing a ride or catching the bus.

Other tips for commuters are:

  • Keep your vehicle in good working order to avoid stalls. If you must stop on a busy road due to a stall or crash, stay calm. Check the traffic conditions before exiting your vehicle. If you can safely do so, move out of the flow of traffic. For Hawaii’s busiest interstate freeways, the H-1 between Ainakoa Avenue and Makakilo Drive, the H-2 from the merge to Ka Uka Boulevard and the H-201 Moanalua, the Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) offers free roadside assistance between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). FSP patrols the interstates or can be called at (808) 841-HELP.
  • Be careful around schools and driveways. There may be an increase in pedestrians. HDOT continues to install raised crosswalks near schools to serve as a physical reminder for motorists to slow down and stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Time lapse of construction of a new raised pedestrian crosswalk on Fort Weaver Road be found at http://youtube/FCXBIUVfqzk A map showing locations of raised crosswalks can be found at https://highways.hidot.hawaii.gov/stories/s/Pedestrian-Planning/a6mu-vr5z#raised-crosswalks
  • Plan your route using tools such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, or GoAkamai that offer estimated travel times or camera views of conditions. Stay informed on planned roadwork for state routes by visiting http://hidot.hawaii.gov/roadwork

Preparation and patience can help everyone avoid frustration as students return to campuses statewide. As students and caregivers normalize their commutes, trip times will become more reliable. Follow HDOT on Facebook and Twitter for more Beat the School Jam content.

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