Hawaii Hosts Worst Traffic in Nation



Algeo Rosario, Reporter

Honolulu is named the worst city in the United States for traffic, according to traffic data provider Inrix. For anyone who has sat through Honolulu’s traffic, it isn’t hard to argue that traffic is one of Hawaii’s biggest problems.

Following Honolulu are Los Angeles and New York.

According to the Inrix traffic scorecard, commuters spend an average of 58 hours a year in traffic congestion, surpassing Los Angeles with 56 hours. The worst hour being on Tuesdays, from 5:15 p.m to 5:30 p.m.

The worst traffic corridor in the state is the H1 eastbound from Nimitz to Vineyard and that includes the Middle Street Merge. There are more than one million registered cars on Oahu and only 1,102 street miles, the fewest in the country. Traffic is less heavy during the summer and the holidays when the University of Hawaii at Manoa is not in session.

Some students who live outside the school district, like sophomore Princess Suelen, start their mornings early.

“I live in Ewa Beach and it takes me an hour to get to Radford,” Suelen said who wakes up around 4 in the morning to get ready for school. “Our family has to leave an hour early to arrive to school on time.”

Mikala Johnson, a sophomore who also lives outside of the school district, suffers from the morning traffic jams.

“Traffic is terrible and it’s always piling up,” Johnson said. “It makes me late sometimes. It also makes me tired and really mad.”

In addition to lowering the number of passengers in a vehicle from three to two to use the Zipper Lane, the state is making changes intended to lessen traffic, like adding new lanes and the Rail project.

To combat traffic,  a rail system is expected to be built from Ala Moana Center all the way to east Kapolei. The initial section of the rail transit system, from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, is expected to open in 2017, and the entire system, from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, is set to be fully operational around 2019.

The Zipper Lane is a lane in the middle of the H1 between the Leeward side and Central Oahu. It’s only open from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for carpools, vanpools and buses.

New lanes will be added to the H1 Freeway to reduce traffic.