Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dumb and Dumber: Why Honolulu Should Abandon Rail

Quoted in Dr. Randy Roth's and Cliff Slater's opinion in Honolulu Civil Beat: Dumb and Dumber: Why Honolulu Should Abandon Rail.

The city tells us that rail can be taken all the way to Ala Moana Center for $10 billion. Panos Prevedouros, chairman of the University of Hawaii Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, forecasts $13 billion.
If you believe the city, that additional cost of not stopping now would be $6 billion.  If you believe Dr. Prevedouros, it would be $9 billion. All to get a 1 percent traffic reduction?
I like their conclusion:
It is dumb to be out of pocket $4 billion and have nothing worthwhile to show for it. It is even dumber to spend another $6 billion to $9 billion for a 1 percent improvement in traffic at an annual financial cost of $130 million and permanent harm to our environment. That’s really dumb.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Businesses Worried as Emergency Repair Work Begins on Pensacola Street

Quoted on KHON Elyssa Arevalo's story on emergency culvert lanes that reduce street width from 3 or 4 lanes down to one...

According to Panos Prevedouros, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Hawaii, “they should have a minimum life of 30 years, not much maintenance, but anywhere between 30 and 50 years, they ought to be replaced.”

Prevedouros says there could be more culverts nearby that will eventually need repairs.

“Some of them are susceptible because Kakaako part of the time it’s under the water horizon [water table], so a lot of them are under conditions that they lead to deterioration, faster deterioration,” he said.

Red Light Cameras Could Soon Be a Reality in Hawaii, but Major Concerns Remain

On April 7, KHON's Alexander Zannes reported on the proposed red light camera law to be enacted in Hawaii. I'm quoted as follows in his report.

Panos Prevedouros, Chair of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UH says a typical yellow light is three seconds, followed by a full second of red. “But some places they allow you to take the three seconds but then once the extra second of all red comes up they give you a ticket, which is by engineering standard illegal so the possibility of cheating is very much there.”

According to AAA most red light camera studies do show reductions in traffic crashes, cutting down on t-bone type crashes.

But to go with that reduction, comes a rise in rear end collisions, and Prevodouros says the cameras don’t affect accidents caused by distracted driving, or people that are intoxicated. “So no matter how many threats you put with red light camera etc. that’s not going to solve it because at that time you’re not paying attention.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

City draws the line to thwart speedsters along busy Aiea road

Quoted in a story by Alexander Zannes in the Channel 2 News (KHON2) on narrower lanes for neighborhood streets, as follows.

Panos Prevedouros, chair of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Hawaii says is a proven method to reduce speed, “In general I will tell you that if it is a neighborhood street, narrow lanes to a point are actually good at controlling the speed, again you have to be careful of wiggle room and having sideswipes if they overdo it.”

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

State reviewing procedures after fiery Atlanta bridge collapse

Interviewed for Hawaii News Now story on State reviewing procedures after fiery Atlanta bridge collapse by Allison Blair.
  • "The hodgepodge of activity that we have under the freeway overpass, it's not appropriate," said Panos Prevedouros, Chairman of the U.H. Civil Engineering Department
  • Prevedouros says the combination of trash, vehicles, tires and tanks could be disastrous if fire broke out.
  • In 2016, firefighters responded to seven rubbish fires in the area. Fire department officials say all were small, with no damage or serious injuries reported. 
  • "It takes a really long time. A five minute fire cannot bring a bridge down," said Prevedouros.
  • But a fire burning at an extremely high temperature, for an extended period of time, can weaken the metal rebar that supports the concrete and cause a collapse. Prevedouros says its rare, but it's also why you shouldn't store a lot of combustible material underneath the viaduct.
  • Hawaii News Now asked Prevedouros if what happened in Atlanta could happen here, with the viaduct in its current state. Prevedouros said "potentially."
  • The fire department doesn't inspect state property, but said it would provide recommendations to the Department of Transportation if it was asked to.
  • Transportation department officials declined to be interviewed for this story but said bridge inspections happen every two years, and that inspectors will be reminded to check for combustible materials.