Changes should make bypass faster, easier to use

As the former president of Lahaina Bypass Now, I have a special interest in making sure the Lahaina bypass serves the needs of the community. When the bypass opened, the state Department of Transportation put 25 mph and 30 mph on the entire bypass.

This didn’t pass the common sense test. Our main stop-and-go highway was 45 mph and the new limited-access open bypass was set at 30 mph.

In discussion with the Department of Transportation in Honolulu it was pointed out that a 30-mph speed limit made no sense and defeated the very idea and purpose of a bypass and would discourage people from ever using the road.

The DOT agreed and has revised the speed limit to 45 mph on the section of the bypass between Lahainaluna Road and Hokiokio Place. The rest of the bypass will be 30 mph and 35 mph with the exception of the entry and exit portions, which will remain at 20 mph and 25 mph.

The new speed limit signs are already up.

In another discussion, before the bypass opened it was suggested to the DOT to lengthen the left-turn access lane onto Keawe Street to allow more cars to stack up in that lane in order to take the bypass going south. Currently that lane only holds six cars. The DOT has agreed to make the change and has begun the restriping process.

Both of these revisions should make the bypass faster and easier to use.

Bob Pure