Unannounced road closures will occur to accommodate arriving dignitaries
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 10, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 9:39 a.m. HST, Nov 10, 2011
Motorists can expect delays on the H-1 freeway and Nimitz Highway beginning today as world leaders begin to arrive for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and roads are closed for their motorcades.
Mayor Peter Carlisle, at his Tuesday APEC briefing at Honolulu Hale, said that because of security reasons authorities aren't allowed to announce in advance the times and the routes that the APEC dignitaries will take from Honolulu Airport or Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to their hotels in Waikiki or Ko Olina.
"If you plan to drive on Thursday morning, we strongly urge you to check with media or information sources prior to getting on the road," said city Transportation Services Director Wayne Y. Yoshioka. "The city continues to remind the public to please plan ahead."
Temporary closures to accommodate motorcades will affect traffic throughout the Veterans Day weekend.
The reception and dinner for the 21 APEC leaders will be held Saturday night at the Hale Koa.
DRIVING TIPS» Avoid being on the road during peak traffic times today, if possible.
» If you need to be on the road, leave as early as possible.
» Take steps to prepare for a potential major delay.
» Make sure your vehicle is in good operating order.
» Be sensitive to other drivers and follow the instructions of law enforcement.
On Sunday, President Barack Obama will host the leaders at a reception at the JW Marriott Hawaii Hotel at Ko Olina.
There also will be a North American leaders summit hosted by Obama at the Marriott on Sunday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico President Felipe Calderon expected to attend.
City Managing Director Doug Chin said the public and news media will be informed of road closures via the city's emergency email and text messaging system known as Nixle or via Twitter and Facebook.
The city's website, honolulu.gov, has instructions on how to sign up for the city's Facebook, Twitter and Nixle feeds.
Obama is expected to arrive Friday night at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. President Hu Jintao of China is expected to arrive early today and will be staying in Waikiki.
At Wednesday's news conference, city Director of Environmental Services Tim Steinberger said that bulk refuse pickup in Waikiki normally scheduled for Saturday will be postponed until Monday or Tuesday because of security and traffic concerns.
He advised residents not to put bulky refuse items on Waikiki sidewalks until Sunday night.
Ty Fukumitsu, chief of the city's Traffic Signals and Technology Division, said commuter traffic from Hawaii Kai on Wednesday — the second day that Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive near the convention center was closed — was "very heavy." However, he said that commuters seemed to have adjusted their travel times after warnings from city officials that traffic would be barred from the area from 6 a.m. to about 7 p.m. because of APEC meetings there.
More vehicles are using Beretania Street and avoiding the Kapiolani Boulevard off-ramp, Fukumitsu said.
"But traffic is slower than normal," added Fukumitsu, who monitored the situation from the city's traffic management center. He said there have been fewer accidents on the H-1 Freeway and fewer stalled vehicles this week.
Waikiki buses will be detoured
Bus routes along Kalia and Saratoga roads are being detoured tonight because of preparations related to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.
The roads will be closed to bus traffic today starting at about 7 p.m. and extending through 6 a.m. Friday, according to the city Department of Transportation Services. Buses were also detoured Wednesday night until 6 a.m. today.
Tonight, all bus stops along Kalia and Saratoga roads will be closed. Eastbound buses will enter Waikiki by continuing mauka of Kalia Road along Ala Moana Boulevard to Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues. Westbound buses leaving the Waikiki area will proceed along Kuhio to Kalakaua avenues, right onto Pau Street, left onto Ala Wai Boulevard, left onto Niu Street and return to Ala Moana Boulevard.
Riders in the vicinity of Kalia Road should use regular and temporary bus stops on Ala Moana Boulevard.