WAIANAE (KHON2) — Some relief is expected to come to drivers on Oahu’s west side.
The underserved area is getting a $15 million investment for its traffic lights. Officials said the upgrade could help them better direct traffic in the area when problems arise.
The project will bring broadband fiberoptic calbe to connect Kapolei to Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae and Makaha. The broadband will put 22 traffic signals online to give the city’s joint traffic management center eyes on what’s happening.
“This fills that gap of not being able to pure around the Makakilo hillside and see the Waianae Coast with the traffic cameras,” Department of Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi said.
Those eyes can then turn to action.
“Our transportation engineers in that joint traffic management center with the ability to now see the intersections we’ll be able to make adjustments to the timings of lights in case there’s any congestion, any crashes, anything like that,” Nouchi added.
As westside residents know, any accident can cause a traffic nightmare on Farrington Highway.
“Often the residents of the west side do go through and it impacts their lives daily,” Nouchi said. “So it is for primarily for transportation benefits so that we have better information and can prioritize people’s travel through that corridor in that very busy corridor.”
But the technology can also bring broadband for other purposes.
“We’re also going to look in with broadband, a lot of other city assets such as beach parks over there, satellite city halls, district parks, and we hope to provide free Wi-Fi via the Honolulu Hot Zone program,” Nouchi said.
With cars gaining technology and automakers now working on autonomous driving, Nouchi said the signals should be able to keep pace.
“It enables us actually to have really good future-facing technologies in preparation for things like adaptive signals like that where the signals will be able to adjust automatically and plan for mitigation congestion when incidents happen. It also opens a gateway for things like autonomous vehicles which we’re looking future facing. Being able to have vehicles that can communicate with signals and that two way communication.”Jon Nouchi, Department of Transportation Services Deputy Director
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DTS still needs to go through procurement and has yet to set a completion date for the project.