homepage logo

Fight the DOT’s bypass plans

By Staff | Jan 4, 2018

Why on Earth would the state Department of Transportation propose closing a safe segment of Honoapiilani Highway and directing the thousands of crawling northbound vehicles onto the new Lahaina Bypass?

It’s one of a few major flaws in the DOT’s plan, and the West Maui community shouldn’t stand for it.

Residents and business owners have started a petition – “KEEP HONOAPIILANI ROAD / RT.30 OPEN!” – posted at www.protectlahaina.com. Go there today to sign the petition and get on board.

This is a movement that needs the same effort and passion as the campaign to protect the Honolua Bay area from development. Do you want to be stuck in traffic every day?

The petition details issues in the plans for the bypass:

1) Closure of Honoapiilani Highway south of Launiupoko;

2) Forcing all northbound traffic onto the new segment of the “bypass” near Cut Mountain, no longer allowing motorists to travel north on the highway along the ocean;

3) Creating a substantial addition of traffic along the Lahaina Bypass, forcing excessive amounts of vehicles onto all road connections, particularly Lahainaluna Road and Keawe Street;

4) Causing such severe traffic congestion that a high number of business owners in the Keawe Street corridor and Lahaina Industrial Park area are convinced that great harm will be caused to their businesses;

5) Closing two lanes of north- and southbound traffic on Honoapiilani Highway – reduced to one lane at the highway’s intersection of Keawe Street – resulting in major traffic gridlock.

There will be a new mayor next year, so forget about any plans to close the highway and create recreational areas along the coast.

For residents and visitors, improving traffic is the greater priority.

The petition demands: “That the connection of the Lahaina Bypass at its newest, southern terminus, not be connected until a solution is found that allows both the Lahaina Bypass & Honoapiilani Highway to remain open; AND/OR the northern end of the Lahaina Bypass is developed and proceeds further north than Keawe Street (in order to avoid the traffic disaster this plan will cause for the Keawe Street/Lahaina Industrial Park Area & the Keawe Street/Honoapiilani Intersection).”

Make the bypass what it was intended to be: a SECOND roadway into Lahaina.

In a recent meeting, officials made a flippant comment that residents should “leave early” to plan for traffic messes that this new plan will create.

Wrong! You need to come back with a better plan.