Sunday, September 05, 2010


Hawaii flunks its road test

by Larry Geller

Hawaii fell one spot this year to #47 nationally in the Reason Foundation’s annual highway report. The Reason Foundation is a libertarian propaganda think tank that has advocated privatization of public assets including the creation of private toll roads. With that understanding, still, Hawaii’s drop in the rankings can’t be anything to be proud of. The full report is very worth reading and should be weighed on its merits, not on my personal view of the organization.

They note that Interstate road conditions nationally are the best they’ve been since 1993, yet Hawaii comes out near the bottom:

Motorists in California and Hawaii have to look out for the most potholes on urban Interstates. In those two states, 25 percent of urban interstate pavement is in poor condition. Alaska and Rhode Island have the bumpiest rural pavement, each with about 10 percent in poor condition.  However, nationally, pavement conditions on urban Interstates are the best they’ve been since 1993, and rural primary roads are the smoothest they’ve been since 1993 also.  [Reason Foundation, 19th Annual Highway Report, 9/2/2010]

Looking at the detailed Hawaii page, here is a snippet. Please see the full report for more information.

Hawaii ranks 47th in the nation in state highway performance and cost-effectiveness, falling one spot from last year’s report. Hawaii ranks 46th in total highway disbursements, 12th in fatalities, 48th in deficient or functionally obsolete bridges and 36th in urban Interstate congestion. Hawaii’s best rankings come in rural Interstate condition (1st), fatality rates (12th), and urban Interstate congestion (36th). Hawaii’s lowest rankings are in state-controlled highway miles (50th) and urban Interstate condition (50th).   [Reason Foundation, 19th Annual Highway Report – Hawaii, 9/2/2010]

This blog has commented several times on the inability of Honolulu and the state to keep paint on the roads. Currently, both the yellow double line and the white pavement markings are almost gone from the Nuuanu bridge over the H-1 that I see outside my window. That’s not at all unusual.

Should collisions result from this poor maintenance, in addition to the anguish caused to people who suffer injuries, we taxpayers will foot the bill for compensation. The lack of paint is just my own particular interest. As the report indicates, poor maintenance disbursements put Hawaii 42nd in the country. The lack of paint is part of that, but it’s just a part that easy to notice.



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