Traffic calming circles are meant to slow cars down, but the partially completed roundabouts on Anoi Road and Luluku Road in Kaneohe have residents frustrated
“It just doesn’t make sense. Actually it causes more traffic. So when the cars are going down and when there’s a car coming around like, should we let them go? Or not go? So it doesn’t make any sense,” said Kuuipo Perreira.
KHON: “So nobody really knows how it works?”
“Exactly! They don’t know how it works,” said Perreira, who lives near one of the new roundabouts.
Several cars and a city dump truck even cut through the roundabout while KHON2 was there. Other cars beeped their horns at drivers in front of them who seemed confused at whether to let a car into the roundabout as they were moving through it.
Residents are also concerned about the safety of the roundabout because it’s black, the same color as the asphalt. They said it’s difficult to see it at night.
Perreira said she found out they were putting it in from a sign that was put up in January that read: New Traffic Pattern Ahead, Traffic Circle.
Honolulu City Council member Ikaika Anderson said talks about the project go back to at least eight years.
“We had community meetings in 2011 and 2012. The mayor’s representative the mayor’s representative went over this in a neighborhood board meeting in July 2016. The difficulty with these traffic calming projects is that from the point from where the community meetings first start to actual construction happens to be a period of years,” said Anderson.
Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Vice Chair Bill Sager said it had been discussed in their meetings but not recently.
“The neighborhood board was not notified that they were going to start, and people have forgotten what was going on,” said Sager.
A city spokesperson sent the following statement:
“The roundabouts were discussed extensively with members of the Kaneohe community before installation began, and follow the city’s Complete Streets ordinance that was passed unanimously by the City Council in 2012. With the spate of pedestrian deaths last year, the Department of Transportation Services believes these roundabouts will make Luluku Road safer for all users.”
The project was discussed at the Kaneohe neighborhood board meeting in 2016. The estimated cost was $10.6 for the calming circles and a road repaving project in the area. It could take up to 330 days to complete.
But how does the traffic calming circle work?
“The vehicle that’s entering the circle on the right has the right of way. And any vehicle already in the circle should be permitted to exit the circle before any other vehicles get in that vehicles way,” explained Anderson.
Anderson admitted there may be a learning curve. “It will take some time before folks in the community are absolutely certain on how to use this traffic circle.”
But he wanted to assure everyone that it is working.
“The goal is to cut down the speed and at the same time to discourage folks from cutting through the community and its doing that.”