Another study: Honolulu has some of worst traffic in US

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Traffic troubles, bottleneck battles, and gridlock on a grand scale. Honolulu is definitely no highway to heaven. In fact, yet "another" traffic study confirms: the city's roads are a network of logjams.

"Everyday, there's traffic. Even at nighttime, there's traffic," said commuter Ashton Bataro, as he sat in congestion along Ala Moana Boulevard. "Frustrating?" I said. He answered, "Frustrating, very frustrating, but you just gotta be patient. You don't want to get in an accident or anything."

The GPS navigation company, TomTom, released its latest congestion index, and Honolulu landed in the top five worst cities for traffic in North America. It came in #4. Only LA, Vancouver, and San Francisco fared lower.

I asked another commuter sitting in gridlock along Ala Moana, "When you come down this road, do you try to avoid it at certain times?" Jeff Chmolack answered, "It's kind of hard 'cause we work during the day. So, it's kind of unavoidable, I guess."

Worst times to be on the roads? According to TomTom, it's Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights. Monday mornings and Wednesday nights have the lightest traffic.

And you may be wondering whether to take the freeway or surface streets. Well, TomTom says surface streets had about double the congestion of highways.

Last spring, traffic information company, Inrix, crowned Honolulu king of the clogged roads in the U.S. So, for many, this latest study is no surprise.

"Whether we're the worst or the fourth in the country, I'm not sure. But we are working on some projects to try to help it out a little bit," says state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, Caroline Sluyter.

The controversial rail project is on track. The DOT says re-striping - that added lanes along parts of H-1 and Moanalua freeway - has helped. H-1's rehabilitation project is slated for this summer, and PM contra-flow work is underway. Sluyter adds, "There will be a little pain before we get the gain because we do have to do the work, and there's never a good time to do the work. So it's a balance."

In the meantime, some are opting for alternative transportation. We watched a skateboarder flying past all that bumper-to-bumper traffic along Ala Moana Boulevard.

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