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Traffic woes continue as global leaders depart

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 2:56 p.m. HST, Nov 14, 2011

Morning commuters should expect "rolling closures of major roads" sometime between 8 and 10 a.m. today as world leaders make their way to the airport.

"The city also advises commuters to … leave as early as possible," said Louise Kim McCoy, city spokeswoman.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedevleft Sunday after the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, while Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to leave this morning, and President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

The Secret Service closes the roadways when Obama, Hu and Medvedev are traveling, though the exact timing of their motorcades is not made public.

Obama is scheduled to attend a fundraiser at Ko Olina's Aulani resort this morning, while first lady Michelle Obama will attend a job fair for military spouses and veterans at the Hickam Officers Club. The president has no other events scheduled for the rest of the day, but the possibility remains that his motorcade could clog up traffic as he moves around the island.

But Sunday's conclusion of the APEC summit means the lifting of many of the barriers and restrictions that have jammed up Waikiki traffic since Tuesday.

Traffic barriers in the Ala Moana area should be cleared this morning. Barriers were being taken down Sundayon Ala Moana Boulevard, Saratoga Road, Kalakaua Avenue, Lewers Street and Kalia Road.

Several security checkpoints along Ala Moana Boulevard between Holomoana and Kahanamoku streets and Hobron Lane remained in place until Sunday evening as delegations began leaving Waikiki.

Bus routes were expected to return to normal once the security checkpoints were removed, according to the city Department of Transportation Services.

"We're expecting all to be normal Monday morning in this area," said U.S. Secret Service spokesman Max Milien. "We want to create that flow. We want to give Waikiki back to its residents."

City refuse facilities and services return to their normal schedules today, said Markus Owens, spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Services. Bulky item pickup was postponed Saturday in Waikiki, and will happen Tuesday. APEC security also closed the Waimanalo Gulch landfill Sunday.

 "I'm glad it's over," said Waikiki resident Joy McGee. "It was a little inconvenient because it took me double the time to get anywhere, but it's totally understandable — you have to keep the leaders of our world safe."

State Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said airport traffic has been slow during APEC — the slowest in the past six weeks — and that it shouldn't be affected by travel as the delegates and attendees leave the islands over the coming days.

"None of (the major delegations) go through the main terminal, so none of them will have an impact on you unless you get caught in a motorcade," he said. "I imagine by Tuesday everything will be back to normal."

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