Letters 1-4-14


New highway’s speed limit too low

The speed limit of 35 mph on our beautiful, new Ane Keohokalole Highway is neither reasonable nor realistic. Mamalahoa Highway (Route 190), a two-lane roadway with habitation on both sides has a speed limit of 45 mph when no construction is ongoing.

They tell us that new homes will be built on the Ane Keohokalole Highway soon; however, from my experience in Hawaii, that will not occur for many years. So, until any construction begins, why not raise the speed limit to 40 or 45 mph, a much more reasonable rate.

I have seen motorists exceeding 35 mph, which is easy to do on a straight, almost empty road, pulled over by police. Shouldn’t “our finest” be spending their precious working hours doing more important work?

Margaret Capelli

Holualoa

Speed trap at airport hurts tourism

This morning, I read your article titled “Saddle Road Speeding Citations Draw Fire” and couldn’t help but think of a similar situation at Kona International Airport.

Our family frequents the airport regularly to pick up and drop off traveling family members and guests. Every time we drive down the main road to the airport terminal off Queen Kaahumanu Highway the same gray airport police vehicle is tucked back into the roadway to the south waiting for unsuspecting motorists. We automatically slow down after turning off the highway because we know he’s there, setting his trap, waiting and waiting to catch his next victim. We’ve seen him catch motorists on a regular basis, most of whom are friendly visitors to our tourist-based economic island. My complaint is that this airport police speed trap is not educating drivers and visitors to slow down. Instead, it’s leaving a very bad taste and lasting negative memory as they leave Hawaii.

Most residents that frequent the airport already know of this speed trap and how that officer waits to catch his next victim. I don’t believe this is the right way to spread our island’s aloha spirit, catching unsuspecting visitors excited about arriving on our island with their family or rushing to the terminal to catch their flight home after a fun-filled visit. Instead, they will leave our “Island of Aloha” with a speeding ticket in their pocket and fine to settle with the state or is it the federal government? Still worse, could they have also missed their flight because of being cited?

If the airport police really care and want to “educate” the public and maintain safety, why don’t they park their patrol car on the main road, in plain view with their lights on to slow people down?

Frank Schenk

Kona