Monday, June 8, 2009

Hawaii Highway Modernization ...

... or (unfortunately,) the failure of enacting it.

A fairly ambitious bill was submitted to the Hawaii State Legislature this year but it died in committee. The Bill would have raised gasoline and weight taxes to collect about three billion dollars and along with one billion in federal funds was planning to do a large number of shovel-ready projects to improve congestion bottlenecks, retrofit or replace old bridges, mitigate rockfall sites, improve pavements, etc. Highlights and the list of projects can be found here: Hawaii Highway Modernization. The bill may be taken up again at the 2010 legislative session.

A TV program was developed to discuss this lost opportunity. It is available in four parts on YouTube, as follows.

State Representative Cynthia Thielen Discusses Transportation with Professor Panos D. Prevedouros

Part 1 --

Part 2 --

Part 3 --

Part 4 --

International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations in Honolulu

The 2nd International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations has Active Traffic Management of expressway facilities as its core theme. The 2nd ISFO is designed to bring together freeway and tollway operators, practitioners and researchers specializing in freeway operations, highway toll operations and expressway infrastructure development. Over 150 presentations are scheduled in 35 sessions between June 21 and 24, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki in Honolulu.

Presentations at the Symposium will:
  • Capture the state of the practice in freeway and tollway operations including current programs and planned initiatives for Active Traffic Management.
  • Discuss Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and managed lanes.
  • Explore the potential benefits of using managed lanes, tolling, pricing, and other strategies to improve traffic operations on congested freeways.
  • Present methods and challenges for infrastructure financing and development.
Also, Hawaii-specific sessions will provide updates of public sector projects and discuss the impacts of traffic congestion to businesses in Hawaii.

The Symposium is conducted under the aegis of the Transportation Research Board, a unit of the National Academy of Engineering, and with sponsorship by the Federal Highway Administration and the Hawaii State Department of Transportation.

The Monday plenary program includes remarks from Lieutenant Governor James Duke Aiona, the Director of the Hawaii State DOT Dr. Brennon Morioka, Robert Poole of the Reason foundation, Dr. Joris Al from the Dutch Ministry of Transportation, and a keynote address by the internationally renowned transportation analyst and historian Alan Pisarski. Executives from Canada, China and Greece will provide regional state of the art reports for North America, Asia and Europe, respectively.

Active Traffic Management means being on top of corridor-wide traffic conditions 24x7 year-round and proactively adjusting controls to avoid or minimize jams. The Monday afternoon program also includes six presentations on active traffic management, and other modern methods in traffic operations. Most of these methods are highly effective, modestly expensive, necessary and applicable to Hawaii but largely absent from Hawaii at the present time.

For more information and registration visit the Symposium’s website at and contact the Symposium coordinator Pacific Rim Concepts LLC at For technical information please contact Dr. Panos Prevedouros at, chair of the symposium’s steering and organizing committees.

Hawaii Legislators, Council members and all State and City officials are cordially invited to the opening of the 2nd ISFO on Monday, June 22 from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Registration is required for attending the luncheon and the subsequent program.