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Q&A: How to avoid the traffic, closings and other inconveniences of APEC

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Bystanders wave as a motorcade carrying President Barack Obama moves past Makapuu during his 2009 Christmas holiday visit. Road closings will likely snarl traffic so check before heading out during APEC week.
  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
    Even city trash pickups could change because of the APEC meetings.
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QUESTION: How can Hawaii residents and visitors find out if roads, businesses, attractions or events are open during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings?

ANSWER: Most major visitor attractions should not be closed during APEC Leaders’ Week. However, heightened security may affect some plans especially from Friday to next Sunday when the top leaders from 21 APEC nations are in town. Access to some Waikiki surf spots and parks will be limited. Harbor security will be tight. Many roads and parking spots will be closed. Don’t travel unnecessarily. Check with hotels and businesses for current information before heading out and give yourself extra travel time. The city is encouraging people to limit the number of cars on the road and take the bus whenever possible. However, some bus schedules will change. Find current APEC information at www.staradvertiser.com; www1.honolulu.gov/mayor/apec.htm#Free; www.honolulupd.org or www.apec2011hawaii.com.

QUESTION: What city services will APEC affect?

ANSWER: Public transportation and trash pickup schedules and routes may change during APEC. Visit www.TheBus.org for transportation information and www.opala.org for trash information.

QUESTION: How can I find out if APEC security restrictions apply to me?

ANSWER: Find APEC information at www.staradvertiser.com; www1.honolulu.gov/mayor/apec.htm#Free; www.honolulupd.org or www.apec2011hawaii.com.

QUESTION: If I want to protest during APEC, what do I need to do?

ANSWER: Peaceful protests are allowed outside of established APEC security zones. Visit www1.honolulu.gov/mayor/apec.htm#Free to find out how to lawfully exercise your First Amendment rights, and how to obtain a permit if you should need one.

QUESTION: How can I get information about APEC security zones and closures if I don’t have Internet access?

ANSWER: Here are some phone numbers:

Federal Aviation Administration: 836-6411
U.S. Coast Guard: 842-2600
U.S. Secret Service: 202-406-5708
Honolulu Police Department: 499-4653 or 499-4654

QUESTION: What Oahu locations will have the tightest security during APEC?

ANSWER: The Hale Koa Hotel, the site of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Saturday, will be surrounded by security and transportation restrictions. Similar security measures will be enforced at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani in Ko Olina where leaders will gather on Next Sunday.

QUESTION: What should I do if I see a motorcade?

ANSWER: Follow directions when motorcades for President Barack Obama, President Hu Jintao of China and President Dimitry Medvedev of Russia shut down roads. All other delegations will move with traffic. If you want to avoid APEC traffic, visit staradvertiser.com or www1.honolulu.gov/mayor/apec.htm#Free to get updated traffic conditions before venturing out.

QUESTION: Are there any APEC events that I can go to?

ANSWER: You can check out the free Innovation Hawaii display at Ala Moana Center, which runs Nov. 1-15 at the center court. Displays showcase APEC-featured industries including renewable energy, health and life science, astronomy and earth and ocean sciences.

The public also may register to participant in three fee-based business events during APEC. They include the 2011 APEC Business Advisory Council SME Symposium on Thursday, the APEC CEO Summit on Thursday through Saturday and the Asia-Pacific Business Symposium, Wednesday and Thursday. To attend the $150 SME event, visit SME_events@ncapec.org. Visit www.APBSymposium.com to register for the $375 Asia-Pacific Business Symposium. Get CEO Summit information at www.apec2011ceosummit.com/agenda.html. The CEO Summit costs range from $750 to $3,800.

QUESTION: Who is coming for APEC meetings?

ANSWER: World leaders from APEC’s 21 member nations and about 1,500 top executives and 2,000 members of the world media. Staff members, friends, family and students will bring the total attendance to between 15,000 and 20,000 people.

QUESTION: How close will I be able to get to APEC leaders?

ANSWER: Without APEC credentials, you are not likely to get close to any APEC Leaders. You might see them pass in their motorcades or coming from and going to their hotels.

QUESTION: Is APEC worth all the hassle?

ANSWER: Hawaii’s APEC organizers say that the event is a rare chance for Hawaii to prove its ability to host a global, high-level security event. Since APEC summits alternate among its member nations, it is not likely to return to the U.S. for at least 22 years and even then it probably wouldn’t come back to Hawaii. The event will fill thousands of hotel rooms during what is typically an off-season for Hawaii’s tourist industry. It will add an estimated $120 million into the economy and give Hawaii workers full-time and overtime hours. It’s encouraged more than $37 million in public projects, including improvements at Honolulu Airport. The high-profile event also is expected to position Hawaii as a serious business destination and as a strong contender for business from the inter-governmental meetings market.

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