The other day I snapped this photo (above) on Olohana Street, turning onto Kalakaua Avenue, in Waikiki.
I was stuck at the light on Kuhio Avenue for about 10 minutes, then this light at Kalakaua for another nine. Almost 20 minutes. Just to move a block. And it wasn’t even during rush hour.
The traffic situation in Waikiki has become almost unbearable.
I’m always in Waikiki. I work nearby, I surf there almost every morning, I run around Kapiolani Park. So I know how bad the traffic can be.
And for some reason, in the last few years, it’s been maddening.
I blame the trolleys and tour buses.
I have no hard evidence, but it seems — and this is only my observation — there has been a huge increase in the number of trolleys and tour buses in Waikiki. And many of them are aggravatingly empty. Yet, they clog up the roadways and stop at city busy stops, often backing up traffic on side streets for way too long.
Case in point: Olohana.
Even yesterday. I couldn’t get through the intersection of Olohana Street and Kuhio Avenue. I watched the light turn red four times. And I was waiting behind three trolleys and a tour van. I finally gave up, turned west on Kuhio Avenue to get back on Ala Wai Boulevard to get out of there.
Back in June, KHON reported about the growing traffic woes in Waikiki, pointing at trolleys as one of the main causes.
The story reported that the mayor’s office was already getting complaints about it.
“We have so many now and we need some form of control here or we’re going to create even worse problems, I believe. We’re getting complaints from a lot of the hotels because it’s affecting their egress and access,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said to KHON. “Because they serve a good function, but do we need as many? Do we need them stopping all in one place? How do we manage it? Because traffic flow is important in Waikiki.”
So what do we do?
Trolleys and tour buses are obviously supporting our visitor industry. But when does it become too much? How can the city control the traffic in an area that desperately needs some kind of help?
Anyone got any ideas? Maybe the mayor is reading!