Following infuriating Kalihi gridlock, drivers wonder if it could’ve been avoided

A day after infuriating Kalihi gridlock, drivers wonder if it could’ve been avoided

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A traffic nightmare in Kalihi Friday night had some drivers running low on both fuel — and patience.

It all started with a crash that happened much earlier in the day.

Police are still searching for the driver of a van that crashed into a utility pole on Kalihi Street Friday, causing gridlock and nearly electrocuting a bystander.

At one point during the backup, some drivers ran out of fuel and had to abandon their vehicles on the sidewalk. Others like Chaiside Barnett came very close.

“We’ve been in traffic for about two hours now. It’s crazy. We are running out of gas. We are 27 miles til empty,” said Barnett.

Drivers like James Fong say the problem with the Kalihi Street closure should have been handled differently.

“They knew about this. The street has been closed for over eight hours now and there’s no signage to say anything or police to direct traffic,” said Fong.

Around 9:00 p.m., two trucks with Safety Systems Hawaii began blocking Likelike Highway and allowing additional cars to come out of Kalihi Valley through Nalanieha Street.

The effort eventually got traffic back to normal, but drivers who were stuck Friday night still want to know why something like that wasn’t done sooner.

The city says with any street closure there is going to be traffic issues but we reached out to see if this could have been managed better.

HNN is awaiting more information.

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