In my last article, I described how the Department of Transportation has slow-walked the Laniakea Traffic Alternatives Study that was first funded in 2007. In recent years, I have been calling on the DOT to either complete the study or cancel it. They will do neither; DOT claims the project would be too difficult to get started again, yet they can always say they are working on the problem.
That article created a pretty strong reaction from readers, several called and sent emails about their dismay that nothing has been accomplished after all these years. As I mentioned before: we may be weary, but we remain determined.
Residents continually ask when something is going to be done about the Laniakea traffic jams. The answer from DOT, when anyone can get a response, is that the study to replace the barriers will be done in about 4-6 months and the comprehensive study will be completed in 6-8 months. Those completion dates never arrive and the answer is always so many months from whenever the question is asked.
The first step in any highway planning is to compare possible alternatives, study potential environmental impacts and estimate costs of construction. Unfortunately, DOT has not demonstrated any desire to complete the study.
So, what are we going to do? Please notice that I ask, “What are WE going to do?” The idea I am about to share might be a bit unusual, but what have we got to lose, more inaction?
The Department of Transportation is a state agency and its director reports to the Governor.
Ultimately, the Governor is responsible for the performance of his agencies. If we cannot get support from DOT, then perhaps we need to go directly to Governor Ige.
Let’s establish “Call the Governor Mondays.” Every Monday, from 10 a.m. to noon, everyone who is concerned about the Laniakea traffic jams should call Governor Ige’s office and request his help to get DOT to finish the traffic alternatives study.
Next time you get stuck in the traffic crawl, make a note: Call the Governor Mondays. By consolidating our calls to that two-hour time frame, we concentrate the message for maximum effect and create a rally cry for others to join in the act next week. It is essential to be polite when you call – the traffic jam is not the fault of the person answering the phone.
Mark your calendar for Call the Governor Mondays, between 10 a.m. and noon. Governor Ige’s phone number is 586-0034. Call each week and encourage others to call the Governor to ask for his help in solving our major traffic problem. If you are tired of the traffic jams and want something to get done, make the call.