Think About It: Rain Lane Pain - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

March 12, 2012

Think About It: Rain Lane Pain

I'm not sure about the actual numbers, but it sure seemed like every single working car on O'ahu was out on the streets last Thursday. Bad weather tends to bring out more vehicles, as people scurry about amid potholes and downpours. It took me 40-minutes to drive 2-miles from South Street to Vineyard Thursday afternoon, and there were no accidents along the way.

And then on Friday, the skies opened up with more rain, but so did the streets, as some areas saw very little traffic. Perhaps some people opted to stay home or simply waited longer to come in. Maybe some kids got a special holiday on Friday. The bottom line is that our already horrid traffic conditions are affected when the severe weather hits, as well as when there are even minor fender-bender on our arteries to and from town. It's no different on the east or west side of the Big Island, on Maui, or on Kauai.

We live on islands, and islands tend to have few alternative veins or avoidance options when traffic dominates the roadways. Is that a bona fide reason for a rail system? I don't know, but I do know that traffic will never get better unless lifestyles or options change for the commuting public on Oahu and on all of our islands. Will people buy a toll way option? Will more people accept busses and some necessary walking? Will gas at $5 a gallon finally alter lifestyles? Would staggering school start times help alleviate car congestion? Many questions, few answers, lots of grumbling, more 70-year old water main breaks and potholes, and dwindling city and state revenues. Problem-solvers are encouraged to step forward. Think about it…

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