At 10 a.m. today, Gov. David Ige held a press conference about the "horrific" traffic yesterday and his plans to address the situation. Both of the ZipMobiles that open and close the ZipperLane malfunctioned yesterday, reducing the amount of westbound lanes available. Traffic accidents on alternate routes made things worse. "The fact that we had a perfect storm of activity last night really exacerbated the situation," Governor Ige said at the press conference.
ZipMobile Repair and Replacement
Each ZipMobile costs $5.3 million to replace, including parts. The ZipMobiles are 15-years-old and have a projected lifespan of 20 years. An assessment will be done to determine if they will be replaced or continued to be used. Money for new ZipMobiles may be worked into the biennium budget.
Flexible Release of State Employees
State department directors have been instructed to monitor the traffic situation and exercise discretion in releasing employees throughout the day as a way to mitigate their employees' impact on traffic when they commute. State workers in Honolulu make up a "significant" portion of the workforce. The early release of employees should be done in a way that does not impact the state's interactions and services toward the public. The city and the UH president have been contacted about the states' plans and have been encouraged to take similar steps.
The "number one" lesson learned by the governor's office was that its communications with the public needed to be improved. Governor Ige understands that a lot of the people stuck in traffic yesterday weren't informed of the situation with the ZipMobiles and ZipperLane, and improving the use of social media to get traffic updates to more people will be worked on over the next few days.
Currently available sources of traffic updates include goakamai.com, Nixle text message alerts (nixle.com), and Twitter accounts @hpdtraffic and @dothawaii.