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MAYORWatch: How Can We Prolong Kahului Stoplight?

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: How can we prolong the stoplight heading to Kahului Airport at Kuihelani Highway and South Puunene Avenue? When we drive toward the intersection, cars tend to take up a lot of space in the right lane because they’re all turning right to get onto Puunene. By the time we reach the light, it’s already turning yellow. I’ve seen many cars try to run the yellow light, and almost cause an accident because they’ve waited so long. If the light stayed green longer, I think it would help traffic on Puunene. Just a thought.

Answer: Mahalo for your question and I can say I’m very familiar with that intersection. I have sometimes found myself sitting through a couple traffic light cycles before reaching South Puunene Avenue.

I would like to remind our residents that this section of roadway falls under the state’s jurisdiction, but nevertheless I instructed my staff to contact our state district engineer and they returned with good news.

The state Department of Transportation Highways Division has just begun a project at this intersection to add additional turn lanes, including a right turn lane from Kuihelani Highway to South Puunene Avenue. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of this summer.

The state implemented an optimized timing plan for the intersection a month ago. Our district engineer also noted that the traffic cycle timing has to be balanced for all four legs along with adjacent traffic signals.

I know this area endures a lot of traffic, with Zippy’s, Target and other stores nearby, so I will make sure my staff keeps track of improvements to this intersection and many others. Mahalo for your time.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask theMayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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