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Honolulu traffic still among the worst in U.S.

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 08:41 a.m. HST, Jun 04, 2014

Honolulu was the third-most traffic-congested city in the U.S. in 2013, according to navigation device maker TomTom Inc.

The average American spends 8 working days in traffic each year, and shortcuts drivers take to save time actually add 50 percent time to the commute, TomTom's study said.

Los Angeles was the worst, followed by San Francisco. congestion in those cities increased year-over-year to 36 percent in LA, the highest levels seen in five years,  and to 32 percent in San Francisco.

TomTom's study reports that traffic in Honolulu decreased to 29 percent in 2013, compared to 2012. 

Honolulu is followed by Seattle, Wash., and San Jose, Calif.

New York City actually is new to the top 10, ranked at No. 6, with a 26 percent congestion rate.

Data collected by TomTom shows that the Thursday evening commute represents the worst peak congestion in the U.S.


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lokela wrote:
Our traffic will not get better. We have highly intelligent DOT engineers at work who have no clue on what they are trying to do. Look at the past few weeks. Let's just close most of the roads leading west at the same time.
on June 4,2014 | 06:36AM
localguy wrote:
All our DoT minions had to do was contact Los Angeles to purchase their special apps which automatically control traffic lights, adjusting in real time to handle the flow. Also, follow their lead in synchronizing all traffic lights. Other cities have far more traffic smarts than the Nei will ever have. Yet our babooze DoT never has a clue what to do. Just sit on their o k o l e, look at the traffic cams and see who can make the biggest traffic back up. No clue how to fix the problem.
on June 4,2014 | 07:47PM
Bumby wrote:
Meant in the late 70's. By the way extend the viaduct over Nimitz all the way to Atkinson Blvd. That will help tremendously. For the west bound only way to have the traffic flow become tolerable is to have a bridge over Pearl Harbor going to the EWA plains.
on June 4,2014 | 11:35PM
Bumby wrote:
As I mentioned before our engineers who built the highway not freeway in the late 90's from Fort Shafter to the UH area were living in Nuuanu valley or Manoa valley. Why do you think the on and off ramps were made the way they were. Not made for traffic coming in from the suburbs. By the way why so long to make the 4th lane and have it open. If they did all that work and will maintain what was for the last 40 years why did they do what they did recently?
on June 4,2014 | 11:33PM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
That's okay folks, the rail will solve it all. (tongue-in-cheek)
on June 4,2014 | 06:48AM
wobegone wrote:
what is the big deal? Study shows the average driver spends 8 working days driving to and from work. 8 days times 8 hours equals 64 hours per year, divided by 12 months is only 5.5 hours per month of driving time. Is this article for real. Have worked in Dallas, Seattle and Los angeles and average drive time to work was never less than 45 minutes one way in morn and about the same in afternoon. Reckon when the rail is built each of us will have to work 4 extra hours a week to pay the rail maintenance costs. My neighbors say they will not use the park and ride system as their cars will not be parked in the sun all day with people banging their doors against their all-day parked car.
on June 4,2014 | 06:50AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
I'm pretty sure it's trying to say that it's 8 days extra per year that wouldn't be there if traffic were normal. So 15 minutes a day just due to heavy traffic. As usual the HSA has a little bit of an English problem.
on June 4,2014 | 01:07PM
soundofreason wrote:
Kinda what happens when you do nothing, over decades, to expand anything.
on June 4,2014 | 07:01AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
soundodreason, you're not sounding reasonable. Do nothing over decades? Pu-leeze! So in 20-30 years, H2 and H3 freeways were never created? Kalanianaole Hwy to Hawaii Kai never happened. I just LOL when guys like you exaggerate. Ridiculous!
on June 4,2014 | 07:34PM
Slow wrote:
Did I just read here the other day about the rebounding auto sales? It stuck in my mind that 9,812 new cars were sold on Oahu in the first quarter of the this year. Nearly 40,000 more in this year alone. At least "Honest Jimmy" and "Tax Fraud" Alan Pflueger are happy.
on June 4,2014 | 07:03AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Everybody blames extraneous conditions for Honolulu's traffic congestion but nobody blames the most important source: YOU!! How many households have 2, 3, 4, cars parked all over the place...son has a car, dtr. has a car, wife has a car, husband has a car....not only that, how many times you see these girls driving SUV's etc...no, the source of Hawaii's traffic congestion is YOU!!
on June 4,2014 | 07:37AM
788686 wrote:
true dat....everyone in the family has a car. Ride the rail...while it may not solve the traffice problem (more and more cars on the roads)...at least it's an ALTERNATIVE. Maybe drivers hould wrk where they live. Why everybody who work in town live live out in the West anyway? Living in the urban city is much better than driving...and you get a couple more hours of sleep. And to the person complaining about park and ride, your car gets banged up in a regular parking facilty.
on June 4,2014 | 08:20AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Actually, if each person has a car, then you don't have to drive BOTH ways to drop someone off. So...not sure your argument works.
on June 4,2014 | 01:08PM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
This is a typical example of the media spinning positive news in a negative way. If you actually go and look at the TomTom study, you'll see that traffic was measured for 53 U.S. cities. In 49 of those cities, traffic got worse from last year to this year. In only 4 cities, traffic improved. Honolulu was one of those 4 cities, and had the best improvement of the 4, from 31% congested to 29% congested.
on June 4,2014 | 08:26AM
Morimoto wrote:
I don't really think it's a negative spin. I mean Honolulu is still among the worst for traffic, regardless of whether they've gotten better for one year. By saying "traffic still among the worst in the US" they're kind of implying that even though it may have gotten better they are still among the worst. Nothing wrong with that and at least they mentioned the improvement.
on June 4,2014 | 12:15PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
So your headline would be "Honolulu Drivers Celebrate Study Showing Traffic Slightly Less Horrible than Last Year"
on June 4,2014 | 01:10PM
localguy wrote:
SA Cub Reporters messed up bad. TomTom study is not the official source for traffic congestion. Here is the one used by the experts. Notice where Honolulu ranks. http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/ USA Today uses the correct site: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/04/worst-traffic-cities/2127661/
on June 4,2014 | 07:59PM
mcc wrote:
Honolulu has no Planning Department, We have the HCDA with the rubber stamp. Build, build, build, with no regard for the infrastructure.
on June 4,2014 | 10:10AM
Anonymous wrote:
Sounds like our city.
on June 4,2014 | 10:46AM
Anonymous wrote:
Perhaps gov't workers stagger work hours ?
on June 4,2014 | 10:45AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Just fire all the unneeded government workers - we have plenty of them.
on June 4,2014 | 01:51PM
pc808 wrote:
It's not how much cars we have, it's how we drive. I see how traffic builds up every afternoon and how it actually starts. If everyone drives at a steady pace and stop braking all of a sudden, the traffic wouldn't back-up as much. As soon as a car brakes then the car in the back brakes and so on and so forth. And most of the time the cars are braking for no reason. Also the cars that try to merge into another lane at the last minute before the off-ramps makes the traffic worst. They wait till the last minute then merge to the other lane causing the cars in the back to brake. Those lanes are designated for the cars taking the off-ramps. It slows the traffic for the designated lanes and also the lanes that they are merging into. They might be beating the traffic themselves but are not taking to account the traffic they are causing.
on June 4,2014 | 11:13AM
Morimoto wrote:
So based on all your anecdotal observations this is your conclusion? So being on an island with limited land and therefore limited roads as well as too many cars has nothing to do with it right? Well I guess no need for traffic studies, we can just all follow your advice. BTW heavy sarcasm just in case you didn't know.
on June 4,2014 | 12:13PM
pc808 wrote:
Did I say this is my conclusion or we should all follow my advice?? This is my personal observation I see on a daily basis. Oh, I didn't know it was heavy sarcasm.
on June 4,2014 | 12:35PM
Morimoto wrote:
Okay, but I interpreted it to mean that driving habits were the main reason for our congested roads, not limited infrastructure or numbers of cars.
on June 4,2014 | 02:42PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
There are a lot of driving habits on Oahu that are truly counterproductive to keeping traffic as a whole moving as smoothly as possible. pc808 mentions some of them. Let's just say that I've lived a lot of places that pack more cars onto roads (NYC, NJ, CT, VA) yet manage to keep traffic moving reasonably because of a better set of shared driving norms. The other half is very poor management of secondary road traffic using extremely inadequate and outdated technology that seems more focused on frequently stopping cars than keeping them moving. Even if we could get the highways moving, the traffic stops dead as soon as you leave the highway.
on June 4,2014 | 01:16PM
Morimoto wrote:
Well there are driving habits everywhere that are counterproductive. Are you saying that those other places you've lived have driving habits so much better as to significantly affect the flow of traffic? I guess there's no way of proving or disproving your theory. There are so many factors but I think the biggest is that there aren't enough roads for the number of cars. I've lived in WA and NV and their driving habits don't exactly encourage the smooth flow of traffic either. Not sure about the technology part though, as I am not familiar with the differences between cities regarding that.
on June 4,2014 | 02:47PM
808behappy wrote:
Now that school is out it takes me half the time to get to work in town & 10 to 15 minutes less to get home!
on June 4,2014 | 12:50PM
juscasting wrote:
So true! Close all the Schools year round!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL!
on June 4,2014 | 01:22PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Instead of eliminating the UH football program, we should eliminate UH completely. Then many of the kids that want to go to college will move to the mainland - Voila! no more traffic. Also we will save tremendous amounts of money not paying those exorbitant salaries we are now paying the UH administrators and coaches.
on June 4,2014 | 01:55PM
hawaiikone wrote:
We should as quickly as possible relocate UH to West Oahu entirely, and begin progressively converting the Manoa campus to senior living facilities.
on June 4,2014 | 04:03PM
localguy wrote:
Uhhh, UH Manoa is already a senior living facility. Have you seen some of the faculty up close? hehehe
on June 4,2014 | 09:50PM
kalaoa wrote:
See, we can be the equal of LA and SF. Wat fo need da rail?
on June 4,2014 | 04:36PM
Ewaduffer wrote:
I object to this article as being another attempt to nullify our rightful position as put-put champion of the world in relation to traffic flow. I am indeed offended.
on June 4,2014 | 06:30PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Traffic isn't that bad yet. When it gets intolerable, people will stop driving their cars on the highways and ride a bus where they can at least sit back, relax, and even sleep assuming that there are seats available. Same with the rail when that thing is built.
on June 4,2014 | 06:45PM
Wazdat wrote:
DUH... This city has not built any new roads in decades. But with tens of thousands of new homes, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT....
on June 4,2014 | 07:15PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Wazdat, DUH, no new roads in decades? LOL! So you haven't seen the new road connecting Ewa and Kapolei? In 20-30 years, haven't you driven on the new H2 and H3 freeways? Clueless.
on June 4,2014 | 07:59PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
If we could magically uplift some of the government agencies from Downtown to Kapolei, it would work.
on June 4,2014 | 11:08PM
OPGLAW wrote:
If you drive you can't really complain about the traffic, because you're part of the problem !! Take the bus, train (in the future) or ride a bike, then you can scoff at the traffic !
on June 4,2014 | 07:19PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I'm parked across from a drive through at McDonald's and there is non stop action for the last half hour. People get to places in their cars.
on June 4,2014 | 09:40PM
localguy wrote:
SA Cub Reporters messed up bad. TomTom study is not the official source for traffic congestion. Here is the one used by the experts. Notice where Honolulu ranks. http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/ USA Today uses the correct site: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/04/worst-traffic-cities/2127661/
on June 4,2014 | 08:00PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I can say that I won the NBA Championship and my name is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one will believe me, however who cares? Don't believe anything unless you talk to the person.
on June 4,2014 | 09:38PM
jussayin wrote:
Well, traffic is just going to get worse as time goes on since there are more high rises being built.
on June 4,2014 | 09:27PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
When it rains cats and dogs the fast lane on the H-1 East gets puddled with say 8 inches and the water does not drain. Is this permanent with a mistake in drainage not accounted for, during the rehab there. I am talking the lanes between the H-1/H-2 merge and Waimalu. It looked like there was an accident, however the slow up was caused by the puddling of the rain runoff. If this condition is not fixed, every time there is a storm, there will be an artificial tie up.
on June 4,2014 | 09:35PM
localguy wrote:
Built in design to lower speed limits during inclement weather. Used on all roads in Mapunapuna, along Dillingham, other areas around the island. DoT engineers didn't understand the reason behind designing roads to drain water.
on June 4,2014 | 09:53PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Water drained okay before. Must have been a junior Engineer that forgot to carry a decimal point.
on June 4,2014 | 11:06PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
People driving T O O S L O W, which causes congestion.
on June 5,2014 | 01:25AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
People are driving too slow, which causes congestion.
on June 5,2014 | 01:26AM
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