WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Wahiawa residents have been frustrated by traffic in town for years. Now help is on the way but it also means giving up parking and a crosswalk.
Long before you reach the "Wahiawa Welcomes You" sign you're usually greeted with a backup on the H2 freeway that can stretch more than a mile and a half.
"That's ridiculous I think. I'm here from Dallas and in Dallas we have a lot of bad traffic but this is ridiculous," said Tony Bradley, Wahiawa resident, about the traffic.
"It's a nuisance and I think it clogs up the off ramp area where people have to use the shoulder lane to come off the freeway," said State Representative Marcus Oshiro, (D) Wahiawa, Whitmore Village.
So the state plans to restripe Kamehameha Highway and add a lane which means there won't be any street parking from the freeway to Olive Avenue. And from Olive to California Avenue there won't be any street parking allowed between 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
In order to improve flow at the intersection of Kamehameha Highway and Olive Avenue the state will take out the crosswalk between McDonald's and Walgreens. That way cars making a left turn from Olive onto Kamehameha won't have to wait for pedestrians. Rep. Oshiro says that particular intersection has been known as dangerous place for people. Residents agree.
"I almost got hit right here because people are just trying to rush to get home. I saw a couple youngsters almost get hit too," said Chris Jumawan, Wahiawa resident.
Speaking of pedestrians people criticized building the new park at the entrance of town named "Gateway Garden." It has no parking or easy access. The restriping would make even less of a walkway. However the plan is to put in an asphalt curb to protect people and prevent cars from driving on the shoulder.
Rep. Oshiro pushed for the Gateway Garden and says even if many may not visit the park, it is much better looking now than when homeless camps were squatting on the area before. Even the homeless camps under the bridge are now gone.
"This is just the beginning of good things for this area," said Oshiro.
The cost of the entire project is about $300,000. The state hopes to have the work done by the end of this year. But it is still waiting on the federal government for the green light to go ahead.