Crosstown Traffic - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

September 8, 2008

Crosstown Traffic

"All you do is slow me down; and i'm tryin' to get on the other side of town".  So sang Jimi Hendrix in his classic "Crosstown Traffic".  Well, I don't think it's you trying to slow me down, but the rate of movement on the freeways these days is as bad as ever.  Listening to Hendrix and others used to be a pleasure for five or six of your favorite songs.  Now days, you can plow through a double CD of "frampton comes alive" and not arrive yet at work or school.

Carpooling, vans, public transportation, HOV lanes?  Yeh, they're all probably helping a bit, but try telling that to someone coming into town on weekdays from Mililani, Waianae, Kailua, or Hawaii Kai.  Even the price of gasoline and automobile upkeep is not having a drastic effect locally on people's habits.  So what will it take to force people to change their ways- two hour daily commutes each way?  Six dollars-a-gallon for gasoline?  Really bad morning drive radio?  Rapid transit or toll roads?

No one knows the answer yet, although we are all being tested day in and day out.  Traffic in town on weekends has even gotten a bit sticky at strange times- midday, 5pm.  And the Neighbor Islands have their sagas of inch-and-wait to match our struggles on Oahu.  Whatever happened to those hovercrafts we used to see in "The Jetsons"?  Or how about a James Bond-like jet pack?  Or the transporter from "Star Trek"?  Ah yes, I really do have too much time in my car pondering things these days.  Think about it...

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