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Traffic backs up as Kapiolani Boulevard closes for APEC

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:34 p.m. HST, Nov 08, 2011

Photo Gallery: APEC preparations

Traffic jammed up in Hawaii Kai through Kaimuki because of road closures this morning, but traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard itself was surprisingly light during some of the morning commute.

Police closed Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive around the Hawai'i Convention Center at 6 a.m. as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference began today.

Part of Kalakaua Avenue remained open, but two lanes closest to the convention center are closed until Friday.

Kapiolani Boulevard traffic was light before 7:30 a.m., except for the area immediately around Kalakaua Avenue, but later became more congested.

The McCully Street intersection in and out of Waikiki flowed smoothly at about 7:15 a.m.

Commuters experienced long delays on the H-1 Freeway and on Waialae Avenue as traffic backed up by 6:30 a.m. The roads will remain closed during the afternoon commute, when the traffic nightmare could happen again in reverse. Kapiolani Boulevard near the convention center is expected to remain closed until about 7 p.m.

Bus service is also affected as are some garbage services.

The city Department of Transportation Services is asking residents to avoid using Kapiolani Boulevard, even if it means using the H-1 Freeway, Beretania Street and Waialae Avenue, which may be more congested than usual. 

The city said many drivers started to use Kapiolani because of the more congested other streets, but it created a bottleneck at the intersection of Kapiolani and Kalakaua Avenue. 

Eariler in the morning, H-1 commuters from Hawaii Kai abandoned H-1 and clogged Waialae Avenue until it was bumper-to-bumper all the way through Kaimuki.

City Department of Transportation Services deputy director Kainani Kraut said the problems on the H-1 Freeway and Waialae Avenue are "what we anticipated." She said that Kapiolani Boulevard is a major route into town taken by commuters from the Hawaii Kai area who use it after getting off the freeway.

City Transportation Service Director Wayne Yoshioka, who monitored this morning's traffic situation from the city traffic management center, said the situation got worse later in the morning when Hawaii Kai commuters became frustrated by the logjam on H-1 and decided to use the Kapiolani Boulevard off-ramp.

"That was a bad idea," added Yoshioka since drivers ended up in the gridlock caused by the closure of Kapiolani Boulevard by the convention center.

"There are lots of people traveling on the road," he added, "and there are less routes to take now."

City traffic officials tried to ease the congestion on Waialae Avenue and Beretania Street by controlling the traffic signals, optimizing the flow of cars.

"We ask for everyone's patience," Yoshioka added, saying commuters should consider alternate means of getting into town or by adjusting their schedules to avoid the rush hour.

Other road closures and restrictions began on Sunday and Monday.

Parking lots and street parking around the convention center are blocked off and there is restricted access to sidewalks and parks in the area and in Waikiki.

Contra-flow coning during the morning and afternoon commute on Kapiolani Boulevard and adjacent streets is suspended through Thursday.

On Sunday, police closed the Magic Island parking lot and the Ewa half of Ala Moana Park to civilian vehicle traffic through Nov. 14. The park is still open for pedestrians. Parking areas at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor also closed.

Ala Wai Community Park, including the community center, parking lot, restrooms, canoe hale and areas up to the baseball field fence are closed to the public through Nov. 14. Also closed is the Ala Wai Golf Course Diamond Head Ballroom.

Kapiolani Regional Park parking lots and the Ewa end of the park have been closed since Oct. 31.

Access to Kahakai Drive and the neighborhood on the makai side of the Hawai'i Convention Center is restricted to residents through a private lane.

Police also blocked off sidewalks and crosswalks around the convention center.

 There is no parking on:

 ° Kaheka Drive, both sides, entire length.

 ° Kapiolani Boulevard, both sides, from Kaheka Street to Kalakaua Avenue.

 ° Kalauokalani Way, both sides, from Makaloa Street to Kapiolani.

 ° Atkinson Drive, south (Koko Head) side only, from Ala Moana to Kapiolani.

 ° Hobron Lane, north (Ewa) side only, from Kaioo Drive to Ala Moana.

 ° Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon parking lot.

 ° Koa Avenue. makai side, 100 feet west (Ewa) of Uluniu Avenue.

 ° Ohua Avenue, west (Ewa) side, makai of Kuhio Avenue.

 ° Beachwalk, both sides.

 Parking is from 6 a.m. through 7 p.m. today through Friday on: 

 ° Kaheka Street, south (Koko Head) side, from Kapiolani to South King. 

° Makaloa Street, both sides, from Kalakaua to Sheridan Street.

 ° McCully Street, both sides, from South King to Kalakaua.

State Department officials said there will be intermittent closures of other intersections around the Hawai'i Convention Center that may affect vehicle and pedestrian traffic temporarily.


APEC Suggested RoutesAPEC Roads AffectedAPEC street parking affected

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manakuke wrote:
Wow, such a stimulus to Hawaii's economy?
on November 8,2011 | 05:24AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well we would like 900 Million visitors as tourists every year, however we must be realistic. Not everyone is Donald Trump or Warren Buffet, LOL. I am sure Hawaii Five-O helps a lot, although the show deals with the shadier side of life, such as with the second-degree murder case which is hot, hot, hot in Oahu news. This is me, signing off . . . ALOHA OE, ALOHA OE, thanks eh !!!!!
on November 8,2011 | 07:44AM
1local wrote:
DOT open up and notify the public of alternate routes. According to the article DOT was aware of effects on traffic and did nothing to prepare the public about alternatives. The only advice given was to take the week off or show the Aloha and be patient and understanding. Hawaii should not have to pay for engineers to give us advice that doesn't help the essential taxpayers in getting to work...
on November 8,2011 | 10:25AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Here is one for you, Mister Transportation Director of The City and County of Honolulu: Traffic is rarely backed up on normal days during rush hour, so why bother to cone Kapiolani Boulevard. Why not just cone Kalanialaole Highway in the morning rush hour. Stop wasting the taxpayer's dollars, AND WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED that tragedy of the one day when THE SUBSTITUTE DRIVER did not show up and caused the massive delay in the morning.
on November 8,2011 | 08:13AM
Beezlebufo wrote:
Don't fool yourself Locals adjust to information posted via TV and newspaper; they just try to avoid the rush hour by starting early or leaving late. Uh Oahu city intersections are controlled by engineers at computer controls, coning is only part of the team.
on November 8,2011 | 08:35AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Why u one En Jah Nee Yah ???
on November 8,2011 | 09:26AM
Anonymous wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 8,2011 | 09:47AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
By the way, as I have said in prior discussions, forums, etc., I am a Registered Civil Engineer in California, got my license in 1984, in Ventura County, license no. C--------, and I passed my EIT during my Senior year in College. Case Closed. I no like brag, howeva sometimes gotta tell it like it is. I also get one Mastas of Science in Civil Engineering from UHM, with my thesis advisor being none other than Dr. Arthur N. L. Chiu.
on November 8,2011 | 11:32AM
kispest wrote:
With all this restrictions, it's a great way to kill business. Congratulation, organizers. What's with all that security overkill? Nobody gives a damn aboutthe delegates.
on November 8,2011 | 08:50AM
kawika72 wrote:
Now you are suggesting that locals adjust their schedules to compensate for APEC caused traffic jams. So I'm guessing you are telling us to work at night only, since the thoroughfares are blocked during the days. Sorry, but not all bosses or businesses can afford to have all their workers work the night shift. Mr.Yoshioka, you should make sure there are clear routes for commuters instead of telling locals to adjust their schedules. Best just not make any suggestions or comments, cause I'm sure you know it'll still be a bad situation for commuters, as long as APEC is here.
on November 8,2011 | 09:56AM
babyb_19 wrote:
U think traffic is bad now.....wait till the protesters take up S. King Street, McCully Street, and Kapiolani Blvd during RUSH HOUR traffic for their "EMERGENCY RALLY"........
on November 8,2011 | 09:58AM
Oahu1234 wrote:
I drive into town every morning and uses Atkinson to connect to Kapiolani. I decided to leave 30 minutes early this morning and took a different route. No problem at all. Got there 30 minutes too early :)
on November 8,2011 | 10:39AM
kennysmith wrote:
i just wish they could do a better job in making it better for everyone to get a round the convention center?. why can't they give a better way on the news paper and by the internet.
on November 8,2011 | 11:00AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
calling Gene Roddenberry, please let us use your Transporter. THANK YOU . . . VERY MUCH.
on November 8,2011 | 11:47AM
kennysmith wrote:
what is your name?, you need to fine out how you are going to do this?. if you like my name you could use it as you see my posting.
on November 8,2011 | 02:22PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Ken Smith, 1234 Main Street, Lihue, Kauai.
on November 8,2011 | 05:33PM
Anonymous wrote:
they don't know how to work the streets on reroutes any of the streets for every one to get around the area.
on November 8,2011 | 11:09AM
manakuke wrote:
Two complicated intersections in front of a glass palace? Not wise at all.
on November 8,2011 | 11:22AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
u mean the Inspiration?
on November 8,2011 | 11:42AM
inverse wrote:
If anyone thinks APEC is causing traffic nightmares, just wait if the rail project actually begins on Oahu. Rail people brag about how many Oahu construction jobs will be created, but think about it, other than building the elevated rail portion in an empty field in Kapolei (ie Hoopili), only a small section with a small work detail can be worked on at any given time for the rest of the rail route or all of Honolulu will become one pig parking lot. As seen by the baby Chanco situation which closed H1 in town in only one specific location, traffic backups cascaded and all of Honolulu traffic ended up gridlocked. So really, only a small work crew can work on the rail at any given time with maybe another crew working on a rail station, but even that will cause major traffic nightmares for all of Honolulu. However Instead of just a one week headache like APEC, the rail project will cause Oahu traffic problems for everyone for years and years and years to come.
on November 8,2011 | 02:43PM
Wazdat wrote:
"alternate means of getting into town" WTF is there any other route? DOT is a JOKE
on November 8,2011 | 03:06PM
808warriorfan wrote:
They should have APEC at Marine Base Kaneohe. The security infrastructure is already there and it's a beautiful location. If these Heads of State want to stay in Waikiki or Ko Olina or Turtle Bay, get some Black Hawk choppers from Wheeler AAFB and fly them to Marine Base Kaneohe. 1.. They accomplish their conference. 2. Roads do not close 3. Small businesses do not take a hit financially 4. Everybody is happy.
on November 8,2011 | 04:53PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Okay, everybody clap loud >>>>> yyyyaaaahhh ....
on November 8,2011 | 05:45PM
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