It's been a little more than two weeks since a new contraflow lane opened on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli. Since then, commuters headed westbound toward Waianae say they've been getting home a lot faster. But people trying to head toward town say the new lane is still causing slowdowns for them.
The first day of the contraflow was fraught with problems as people struggled with the new traffic pattern.
"Well, day one was pretty rough because there were no police officers out, as well as many of the community members had no idea that it was going to happen," says state Rep. Andria Tupola (R-Nanakuli, Maili).
By now, just about everyone has had a chance to try out the new traffic flow. And unlike day one, there are special duty Honolulu police officers at every intersection. They've been monitoring traffic and waving eastbound vehicles through red lights on Farrington Highway to keep things moving if there are no crossing cars or pedestrians.
"They're trying to see if there can be a way to make the movement from eastbound more fluid, which having officers at every light has helped a lot," Tupola says.
But not everyone is satisfied.
"I'm happy that they tried, but it's not working," says Shereen Balles. The Makaha resident commutes from her her home to Kapolei at least twice a day. She says it's a drive that she says once took about half an hour.
"In the afternoon since the contraflow has started, with the single lane, basically, I have noticed that it takes from about 3:15 (p.m.), 'til I get to Kapolei at 4:30," she says.
The state Department of Transportation says it is still gathering data on the contraflow lane, but should have it ready next week. The DOT will also be part of a Town Hall meeting Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Ka Waihona o Ka Na'auao public charter school cafeteria to discuss the contraflow lane and other possible traffic solutions.
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