Maui News

New Book by Local Authors Explores Traffic Solutions for West Maui

August 25, 2021, 4:15 PM HST
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A new book by local authors, called Thinking About Traffic in West Maui, delves into solutions of traffic problems.

Thinking About Traffic in West Maui, a new book by local authors that explores solutions to the areaʻs traffic woes, launches Sept. 7.

The book delves into traffic solutions that include bike sharing, expanding existing road systems, building a tunnel through the West Maui mountains, and other options vetted by Hawaiʻi-based experts. 

The book comes at a time when concerns over tourism-driven growth have reached an all-time high throughout Hawaiʻi, and especially on Maui. Of those concerns, traffic congestion is often cited as a top issue by residents and visitors alike. While Thinking About Traffic in West Maui focuses on one community, traffic is an issue across Hawaiʻi and the book has applicability across the state. 

The book takes a detailed look at several community-generated options and does so through an approach that embraces Hawaiian culture and values. 

“Each exploration of traffic solutions in these chapters not only describes regulatory compliance and construction considerations, but also attends to the ways proposed traffic mitigation are appropriate to the place that West Maui is and has been in history,” the editors wrote. “This attention to the Hawaiian history and culture that conditions the contemporaneous community of West Maui is appropriate to the ways participants in 2012 envisioned a future for West Maui: ‘West Maui will be a place that embraces Hawaiian cultural values.’” 

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The book’s authors — experts in transportation, natural resource, planning and law — examine several community-generated ideas: a tunneled highway, a light rail system from Napili to Kahului Airport, moving existing makai highways inland, encouraging biking, widening Kahekili Highway and improving ride sharing networks. The authors weave into their discussions interrelated issues such as affordable housing and climate change. 

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The book is published by the University of Hawai’i Press and edited by Bianca K. Isaki and Lance D. Collins. It is available in paperback for $25.

To learn more, join the book’s authors and editors in a live discussion and Q&A on the North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund Facebook page on Sept. 7 at 5 pm. 

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