Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Road Scholar

How to navigate back-to-school traffic in Honolulu

Honolulu Traffic Tips

6:30 a.m. Hit snooze three times before dragging your butt out of bed.
7:00 a.m. Spill coffee all over your new silk blouse.
7:30 a.m. Realize you left your cell phone on your nightstand.
7:45 a.m. Meet bumper-to-bumper traffic halfway to the office.

Bad mornings can sneak up on you. Don't let traffic, especially back-to-school traffic, do the same. Today, we've compiled a list of tips and websites to help you navigate your crazy commute. So whip out your phone and let's get this show on the road.

1. Use social media for a quick snapshot of current conditions.
Facebook is great for major accidents and traffic backups - follow the major news outlets and you'll easily spot photos in your news feed. But for neighborhood fender benders and stalled vehicles, the best updates can be found on Twitter by following people and accounts devoted to traffic or searching for the hashtag #hitraffic. We've listed some of our favorites below.

Star-Advertiser: Facebook / Twitter
KHON: Facebook / Twitter
KITV: Facebook / Twitter
Hawaii News Now: Facebook / Twitter
HPD Traffic: Twitter
Rachel Pacarro: Facebook / Twitter
Danielle Tucker: Twitter
KITV Traffic: Twitter

2. Check HPD's traffic information website.
This site logs every single traffic incident received by the Honolulu Police Department in real time, from accidents and stalled vehicles to parking violations and hazardous drivers. Scan the address and area columns first for potential snafus along your route. The only downside? It doesn't tell you how bad an accident is, or if there are any road closures, which is why you'll want to...

3. Pull up the city traffic cameras online.
Looking at traffic cameras is your best shot at previewing road conditions before you start driving. We prefer the Zone View, which allows you to view up to six cameras at one time. Was there an accident on the H-1 Freeway? Click through the cameras to pinpoint where the backup begins and plan your exit accordingly. Keep in mind, traffic cameras are typically only available along main thoroughfares, and not all the cameras work (H-1 and Old Waialae Rd., for example, has been out more than a year).

4. Know your alternate routes.
This one's pretty self-explanatory, but the key is to make sure your alternate route isn't actually slower than your current route. If there's an accident on the H-1 Freeway in Aiea, a lot of cars may have already diverted onto Kamehameha Hwy., which means Moanalua Rd. might be your best option.

5. If all else fails...
Well, that's why we put together this rockin' back-to-school playlist. When you've got nowhere else to turn, pump up the volume and sing away.

Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 in Permalink

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Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.

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