Lawmakers fuming over Pro Bowl gridlock

Lawmakers fuming over Pro Bowl gridlock

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State lawmakers are fuming about the traffic nightmare created by Sunday's Pro Bowl -- and asking for answers.

"To make people have to be in their cars for three to four hours, that's just outrageous," said state Sen. Sam Slom. "(There's) no accountability. That's the key right there. How many times has this happened before?"

But there was no one around to answer those questions Monday.

Hawaii News Now tried several times to reach Aloha Stadium Manager Scott Chan Monday. As of the deadline for this story, Chan hasn't responded.

Slom said better planning could have prevented the gridlock.

"We know the stadium was sold out Friday, right? We know that there's traffic congestion and problems, but we don't do anything," Slom said.

The apparent lack of planning and coordination was exemplified, officials said, by who Aloha Stadium management didn't contact prior to the big game.

Officials with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and state Department of Transportation said their agencies weren't contacted about game day operations.

Slom says the DOT should have gotten involved.

"That's where you do different things, that's where you do special HOV lanes, or you do coning, or you do something," Slom said.

State Rep. Andria Tupola, whose district covers much of Leeward Oahu, said there's no excuse for the lack of planning.

"If anything all you have to do is ask," she said. "If you know it's a big event, you can't handle maybe reach out to other departments, reach out to the governor -- say 'I need some help here."

Tupola said the only way to improve situations like this is to hold people accountable -- and for the public to demand better.

"Being proactive, talking about infrastructure before houses, maybe addressing it as the number one issue behind homelessness as opposed to the 10th issue," she said.

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