First Friday means it’s time to answer some reader questions.
QUESTION: The Mililani Transit Center, which was finished in August 2007 at a cost of $4.7 million, was supposed to be a transit hub. Are there ever going to be buses to get to Kapolei and Pearlridge? Or is (the center) forever going to be a very expensive bus stop?
ANSWER: There will be direct bus routes to Kapolei and Pearlridge Center. As to when, city Department of Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka can’t really say.
“We’re a little short on buses right now, and we don’t have the mobility financially to expand our bus routes,” he says. “Our buses are being consumed in our congested central corridor.”
It’s one reason Yoshioka continues to hope for the rail transit project. He says the rail transit system will free buses to service other routes.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait until 2019 (the expected completion date for rail) for routes to Kapolei and Pearlridge. Yoshioka says routes should be there before then, but when that would be is still up in the air.
For now you can take Route 501 and transfer to Route 62, which should take you to Pearlridge, he says. And to Kapolei you’ll have to take the 62 from Pearlridge back to Kapolei. Route 40 goes all the way to Makaha.
Q: Last week you wrote about the state’s pedestrian master plan. What happened to the city’s master plan for bicyclists?
A: It’s practically done.
The master plan that deals with projects 20 years out is complete, but Yoshioka says it’s missing interim projects to help cyclists deal with traffic in the short term.
“Right now I think it’s unreasonable to tell the bicycling community that we’ve got this great plan but you have to wait 20 years for it,” he says. “We really feel there need to be interim projects that work our way toward a great plan so these actions can benefit cyclists in the shorter term but are consistent with the overall plan.”
Short-term projects include areas like Young Street. The city could implement “sharrows,” or shared lane markings, to outline where a bicyclist’s right of way would be.
“You can try signage, but it’s found that signs are typically ignored,” Yoshioka says. “If there are lane markings, drivers seem to pay attention more.”
That’s it for this week. Feel free to send me questions, and I’ll try my best to get them answered. Enjoy your weekend, and happy Aloha Friday.