Most drivers drive with aloha on the roads on Oahu, but some don’t. Times are changing and with more people on the islands, it can be difficult to get along with some chaotic drivers.
Speedy Drivers do Not Drive with Aloha on the Freeway
I have noticed in recent years that people have gotten “pushier” on the freeways on Oahu. This could just be because there are more people on the island now. Real estate developments and luxury condominiums on the beachfront have attracted foreign investors. This could be why we have more people, and consequently more drivers. Drivers can get pretty speedy on the freeways, and by speedy I mean much faster than the 55mph speed limit. Sometimes you can catch people drag racing on popular “drag race tracks” that have been established and well known for years. These are usually late night occasions though. Driving with high speed can be looked down upon as most drivers in the islands are slow and steady. This is why you should drive with aloha, because people don’t like you when you don’t drive with aloha!
Some Don’t Drive with Aloha on Freeway Merging On Ramps
I have noticed that the most problematic areas on the road are merging areas for freeway on-ramps. I know this sounds very obvious to most people, but these never used to be a problem on Oahu. Now, I feel like people are “pushier” to merge onto a freeway, more so than before, and there’s more of cutting people off as they try to merge. I remember when I visited home this recent winter (January 2019,) someone actually flipped me off as I was merging onto the freeway! As I started to merge, he sped up and tried to cut me off and then flipped me off. I was astounded. That’s the first time I had ever been flipped off from a driver in the islands. Here on the mainland, I’m accustomed to that happening on a daily basis. But in the islands, that was a first! This is why we need to drive with aloha, because it gets dangerous when we don’t!
Parking at popular shopping centers like Ala Moana Shopping Center during the holiday season is near impossible. I worked there for a while in high school and I remember the flood of customers during those months making it difficult to find decent parking on any day of the week. Weekends? Forget it! Parking structures can get pretty hectic and there’s definitely a sense of chaos when everyone is hunting for a parking spot. Parking in the islands is usually sparse and difficult to find, especially in densely populated areas like downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. If you do find parking, it will be very very expensive. I once paid $30 for parking in Waikiki for an hour or two. It was incredible.
School Year Chaos
Many public and private schools are generally within close proximity of each other because of the high density and packed geography. Hence, during the school year, there is a lot of traffic around 2pm in the afternoons. It can get pretty crazy, especially around elementary schools. With an influx of parents and relatives coming in to pick up kids in the afternoon, the traffic can be unbearable. I remember my mom would wait 30 minutes until after we were released from school to pick us up because the traffic was so bad.