Castle and Cooke broke ground on its Koa Ridge project last week. It's long overdue after years of resistance from environmentalists. The project was held up by concerns about urban sprawl and the loss of quality agricultural land.
Castle and Cooke has been a responsible landowner and has built some of the most livable subdivisions on Oahu.
Koa Ridge is a reasonable size and the housing is badly needed. The company deserves our appreciation for sticking with the project to this stage.
They've also changed the project over time to add commercial opportunities, so it's not entirely a bedroom community.
But there is no doubt that most of the new residents of Koa Ridge will be commuting into town, joining the growing numbers coming from West Oahu's new residential projects, like Hoopili.
Our highways and many of our surface streets are already congested and poorly maintained. And there are no major plans to increase capacity or make the commute more bearable.
It's a sad fact that having an affordable family home on Oahu usually means enduring one of the worst daily commutes in the nation.
Rail will help a few of these people, but in the meantime it seems like construction of mass transit has been an excuse to ignore our pathetic highway system.
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