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School traffic jam starts up Aug. 23

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Motorists might want to circle Monday, Aug. 23, on their calendars.

More than 40,000 students from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and four Oahu community colleges will be back in session that day, increasing congestion on Oahu roads during peak commuting hours.

In all, about 60,000 college and private school students are returning to school for the fall semester over the next few weeks.

City and state officials advised motorists yesterday to leave at an earlier or later time than usual and to take other measures to help avoid the traffic tie-ups.

Officials also suggested that motorists maintain their vehicles to avoid stalls and breakdowns, and using alternative modes of transportation such as walking, bicycling, taking TheBus and carpooling.

Vanpool Hawaii has more than 300 vehicles issued to carpoolers statewide. The seven- and 15-passenger vans carry people who share a common commute; each person pays $65 per month. Nearly all the vehicles are taken, said Vanpool Executive Director Vicki Harris. But there are some vehicles and ride spots available, she said.

Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell said motorists, cyclists and pedestrians also need to keep their cool.

"Fast reactions, trying to respond quickly, that’s not the way to go here," he said.


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