Motorists can expect delays on the H-1 Freeway and Nimitz Highway as world leaders arrive for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and roads are closed for their motorcades.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, at his daily morning APEC briefing with reporters at Honolulu Hale, said because of security reasons authorities aren’t allowed to announce in advance the times and the routes the APEC dignitaries will be taking from Honolulu Airport or Hickam Air Force Base to their hotels in Waikiki or Ko Olina.
“If you plan to drive on Thursday morning, we strongly urge you to check with media or information sources prior to getting on the road,” said city Transportation Services Director Wayne Y. Yoshioka. “The city continues to remind the public to please plan ahead.”
Recommendations for motorists include:
>>Avoid being on the road during that time, if possible.
>>If you need to be on the road during that time, leave early as possible.
>>Take steps to prepare for a potential major delay.
>>Make sure your vehicle is in good operating order.
>>Be sensitive to other drivers and follow the instructions of law enforcement.
Similar closures will temporarily impact traffic throughout the Veteran’s Day weekend,
The reception and dinner for 21 APEC leaders will be held at the Hale Koa Saturday night.
On Sunday, President Obama will host the leaders at a reception at the JW Marriott Hawaii hotel at Ko Olina.
There also will be a North American leader’s summit hosted by Obama at the Marriott on Sunday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico President Felipe Calderon expected to attend.
City Managing Director Doug Chin said the public and news media will be informed of road closures via the city’s emergency email and text messaging system known as Nixle or via Twitter and Facebook.
The city’s website — Honolulu.gov — has instructions on how to sign up for the city’s Facebook, Twitter and Nixle feeds.
President Barack Obama is expected to arrive at Hickam Friday night. President Hu Jintao of China is expected to arrive earlier in the day and will be staying in Waikiki.
At Wednesday’s news conference, city Director of Environmental Services Tim Steinberger said that bulk refuse pickup in Waikiki normally scheduled for Saturday will be postponed until Monday or Tuesday because of security and traffic concerns.
He advised residents not to put bulky refuse items on Waikiki sidewalks until Sunday night.
Ty Fukumitsu, chief of the city’s Traffic Signals and Technology Division, said commuter traffic from Hawaii Kai today was “very heavy.” However, he said that commuters seemed to have adjusted their travel times after warnings from city officials that traffic would be barred from the area from 6 a.m. to about 7 p.m., because of APEC meetings there.
More vehicles are using Beretania Street and avoiding the Kapiolani Boulevard off-ramp, Fukumitsu said.
“But traffic is slower than normal,” added Fukumitsu, who monitored the situation from the city’s traffic management center.
He said there have been fewer accidents on the H-1 Freeway and less stalled vehicles this week.