The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 22
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December 7, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 22

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 7, 1997
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Page 22
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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1997 23A THE PALM BEACH POST Hawaii's Cold War freeway opens 25 years late, way over budget 'Sadly, that money could have been used for other transportation projects. We lost the opportunity for a sensible transportation policy.' REV. BOS NAKATA Social services activist The Associated Press HONOLULU Duringthe Cold War 1960s, military strategists in Hawaii wanted a direct route for moving troops from one side of Oahu to the other. The $1.3 billion solution finally opens next week 25 years late and 18 times more expensive than the original estimate. The H-3 freeway, 16 miles long and four lanes wide, will receive traffic on Dec. 12 after the traditional green-leaf lei is untied. Critics say it's a colossal road to nowhere. But supporters, including the Hawaii senator who kept federal funds flowing for three decades, say it's vital to easing traffic on the two other direct links between eastern Oahu and the environmental movement The freeway was snarled in stop-work injunctions for 17 years because of fights with environmentalists. Those led to two U.S. Supreme Court rulings, several expensive realignments to protect ancient archaeological sites that were uncovered in the freeway's path, and an extraordinary act of Congress. '. In 1986, Inouye won congressional approval of a measure making H-3 im-; mune to future environmental lawsuits. ' Nakata says building the H-3 had more to do with pumping federal money into the local construction industry than with relieving traffic or helping the military. ; "Sadly, that money could have been used for other transportation projects," he says. "We lost the opportunity for a sensible transportation policy." : "It will become without question one of the most beautiful highways in the United States," says Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, whose efforts earned the road the nickname "Danny's Highway." Motorists will travel along towering concrete viaducts skirting the 2,000-foot sharp-edged cliffs of the Koolau mountains. Then they will drive through twin, mile-long, blue-tiled tunnels that punch through the mountain at the 1,000-foot level. Finally, they will descend through lush, tropical North Halawa Valley into Honolulu. The breathtaking view is expected to become a must-see for Hawaii's 6 million visitors a year. Many doubt, however, that the view justifies the price tag, even if the federal government paid 90 percent of it. Tony Hodges, a leader in the legal hour jams. "You're as far away from downtown when you get on the H-3 as when get off the H-3," says the Rev. Bob Nakata, an eastern, or windward, Oahu resident who runs a nonprofit social services agency in Honolulu. State officials say use of the H-3 will grow from an initial 12,000 trips a day to 40,000 by 2010 because of urban development on the west side of Oahu. With the fall of communism, the military argument for the highway is all but gone, Inouye acknowledges. But it's too late to "just concrete the whole tunnel and close it," he says. "It's finished." While popular with the military, politicians, business leaders, unions and many Oahu residents, the project slammed head-on in the early 1970s into and political fight against the project, calls the highway "a monument to stupidity and waste" and "a road to nowhere." Many Honolulu-bound commuters from eastern Oahu say they won't use it and will stick to the parallel Pali and Likelike highways, despite their rush- r T7J rr o 'ffin o ' .... iu ! v. I vis nn v . . -rf'i ft n mi i T " A X. h x M ffDlrUa3uiES ,i';,.. t iiTr ii ii i i'Lim - -niMiiniiMiirTI r "i ri ninim" . Iiiiiiiiiii I - . ,.j - i. J L immMmmmmmm i V. 30 150 300 MINUTES MINUTES MINUTES $24" $39" $49" 500 1000 1800 MINUTES MINUTES MINUTES $69" $99" $149" Great Gifts! Waived activation ($25 value) Freeway's birthplace mulling tolls Los Angeles County speeding toward creation of a pay-as-you-go lane. The Associated Press ' LOS ANGELES Twice a day, David Myers gets into his 1990 Honda Civic, pops a book-on-tape into the stereo and does battle for one hour and 40 minutes with that 53-mile-long monster known as his commute. Every bumper-to-bumper mile between his Palmdale home and his LA office, Myers dreams: Wouldn't it be nice if there were another lane, a faster lane, that allowed him to zip past the other drivers? A lane so nice that it would be worm paying for? Someday soon, perhaps in the next couple of years, such a special lane may exist Traffic in Los Angeles County, birthplace of the freeway, has gotten so bad that people are thinking the unthinkable: a toll road. As a city councilman from Palmdale and co-chairman of a task force trying to ease the region's congestion, Myers is a leading proponent of a toll lane that would be par t of the Antelope Valley Freeway Car poolers could use it for free, but solodrivers would have to pay. ' v 1 " The lane is seen as a market solution to congestion. It would provide a speedier alternative for paying commuters while easing congestion on the free lanes. : "It's something that seems infinitely doable within a few years," Myers said. Toll lanes or highways are not an alien notion; San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties already have them. But this would be the first tollway in Los Angeles County, where the first freeway was born in 1940. "There's a lot of symbolism about it," said Peter Samuel, editor of Toll Roads newsletter. "People think of LA as being the home of the freeway. It would be sufficiently striking to make people think times are changing." Hardly a done deal The idea is still a ways off. There are feasibility studies to complete and financing, design and construction issues to work out. For example, it is not clear yet whether an existing lane would simply be designated a toll lane, or whether a whole new lane would be built. And there remain a number of critics who consider toll lanes elitist "Lexus lanes" that allow the rich to zoom past the poor. Toll roads are highway robbers. Toll lanes are no different," said Bill Lockyer, state Senate president pro tern. But the mere fact that an important cross-section of leaders in Los Angeles County is seriously considering the concept is a break with tradition. The freeway was born here 57 years ago with the opening of the Pasadena Freeway, then called the Arroyo Seco Parkway 8.2 curving miles from downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena. Drivers could travel from point to point without hitting a stop light or cross traffic. Before long, the slow, noisy streetcar yielded to the automobile, and a culture was born. The Pasadena Freeway became part of the great Los Angeles freeway system, hundreds of miles of wide-open concrete highways, tangled interchanges and towering overpasses. And nearly six decades of sprawl later, the freeways are clogged. Studies consistently pin LA with the nation's worst highway congestion. The very benefit the freeway once offered travel free of fits and starts is as much a memory in many places as the streetcar. Sjn up for Unlimited its and Weekends calling for $4.95 per month and get your first 3 months free Give the gift of AT&T Digital PCS. Because only AT&T offers one rate for the whole state, and the largest digital wireless network in Florida and North America. How's that for a stocking stuffer? AT&T Wireless Services mm I 800-IMAGINE It's all within your reach. Slfjmlilliif Mil Hflll Call I -SOQ-IMAGINE8 to find out about AT&T Wireless solutions for people with hearing disabilities. SALES ONLY: B0YNT0N BEACH SALES & SERVICE; WEST PALM BEACH 1880 Okeechobee Blvd. (X mile west of I-95) 561 687-8600 PALM BEACH GARDENS The Gardens Mall (Upper level between Bloomingdales and Sears) 561 776-0272 SUNRISE 12681 W. Sunrise Blvd. (Behind Computer City in Sawgrass Plaza) 954 845-1120 JENSEN BEACH Treasure Coast Mall 3434 N.W. Federal Hwy. (Next to Bentley's, just north of the food court) 1713 N. Congress Ave. (In Catalina Center behind the Macaroni Grill) 561 732-3099 BOCA RATON 8200 Glades Rd. (In Lakeside Center between Service Merchandise and Marshalls) 561 883-0633 561 692-0030 AlifLLQMfOR MT WIRELESS SERVICES AT: BUIL0ERS SQUARE SCOTTY'S WALGREENS ECKERD SERVICE MERCHANDISE Home Phone 1195 Royal Palm Blvd. 561 793-1110 Moda By Matarl 400 Clematis St. 561 655-0470 BELLE GLADE Moda by Matarl 256 W. Avenue A 561 996-4548 White's Radio t IV. 417 N.W. 16th St. 561 996-8226 WEST PALM BEACH Advanced Wireless Services (Audio Advisors) 2273-A Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. 561 697-2229 Almac Mobile Communications 5100 S. Dixie Hwy. 561 582-8600 BeeperCity 80 E. Blue Heron Blvd. 561 881-2288 LAKE WORTH Carcell Cellular Communications 3095 S. Military Trail, Ste. 19 561 969-6767 OKEECHOBEE Display Systems, Inc. 180 N.W. 3rd Ave. 941 763-5555 TAQUESTA BeeperCity 171 U.S. Hwy. 1 561 575-4949 RadioTronlcs 1556 Cypress Dr. 561 746-0935 LAKE PARK Beepers Etc. 726 Park Ave. 561 881-9001 World ol Sound 3579 Northlake Blvd. 561 691-4434 B0YNT0N BEACH Affordable Wireless 12550 S. Military Trail . 561 495-9996 GREENACRES Transmedla Wireless Services 5323 Lake Worth Rd. 561 357-9100 JUPITER Metro Cellular (Metropolis Cellular, Inc.) 305 Old Dixie Hwy. 561 747-9100 Al SO, LOOK FOR AT&T WIRELESS SERVICES AT; OFFICE MAX RITZ CAMERA SECURITY WORLD nA(H g) CslMlT Qr raqdm . on,-yr contract mh an uriy undtaaoi, Im ol S 10 ptr month (or month, nmc - the unexp-red term Reouir,, ptal PCS phon, new .ct,v,on on ,elKt d julpln and cred,t approval A.rom, for each can wmliU mm H Qi mcremenu and funded up to the n. Ml mnute. UnU.ed .ncluded mnute. w, not be carried over to the ne Wl.n cycle Addraonal charje. apply tor roam,ng. long d,iranc, ,nd tax. Flonda C.lhn,. rxr,m. rate. J Honda era . member char,.,. Full rZ con,, ,m cl m an WIT wm. Svc A,- and Rat. She or Callm, Plan. W,reK.. r. not M,labl,n H .r... W,th N.jht. M,d Weekend, feature, no horm charjrt talOJm 6am Mond. , IlieillUCI Sj(u Unl.rn.ted N,gho and Weekend, feature .1 only available with .elect d.jital plan..Wa,ed acanaon a,lable on plan. $24.99 and up Other term., cond.oon. and excfcilom apply Offer ep.r 113197 1997 AW, .jfc,iNtjf ftjjttJttmttMmtn. On iJw m wii $ o iftn j ftm tfc ft ' it th ffr hhi $

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