By Taizo Braden - bio | email
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every morning we use dozens of traffic cameras to paint a picture of your commute in the morning. But some areas like the Moanalua Freeway over Red Hill haven't been covered until now. A new project is adding new cameras to cover that busy traffic corridor and will also be a part of a state- of-the-art set to be released next year.
The ten new traffic cameras mounted high above the Moanalua freeway are part of a 1.4 million dollar project to extend the coverage of traffic camera on state highways.
"This area didn't have traffic camera in the past so now so now we are filling in the gaps and making sure there is coverage so we can exactly what is going on during rush hour" said Tammy Mori of the state Department of Transportation.
The new cameras will allow freeway patrol dispatchers along with police and road crews to respond faster and more efficiently to stalls or accidents. The new Moanalua cameras are tied into the DOT traffic center located at the mouth of the H-3 tunnels. There cameras are monitored 24 hours a day. In town another traffic management center coordinates all the action on city roads.
"Everybody thinks that the city and state don't talk to each other, that they exist in isolation but that is not true. We do work together all the time" said Brennon Morioka, state DOT Director.
And a new level of cooperation between the city and state will launch soon in the form of a brand new traffic web site.
"It is like a one stop shop. You can go on the web page you can see the traffic in the cameras. Whether it is a state road or city road, every one of these cameras will be on the same web page" said Morioka.
The new web site will allow drivers to get custom drive times, avoid road construction and better plan their commutes.
"You can actually click on your commute to see what exactly is going on in the corridor you are traveling on" said Mori.
"And it has to be real time. It can't be information that is 30 minutes old 8:44 8:48 so we are in the enabling phase where we are putting together all the hardware on the road, to where we are putting the cameras up..Right now, were making sure the city's stuff works with the state stuff so all of that needs to be in place before we launch everything" said Morioka.
So while the state Department of Transportation is busy building new traffic routes like the new North-South Road in Ewa Beach, new roads are not the only solution to traffic here in Hawaii.
"Ultimately as long as the public feels that their commute is shorter, their commuter is safer, they feel comfortable with their kids riding bikes on the road, that is all we care about. And the ground breakings are nice but as long as we provide a safe and efficient highway system, then we're happy."