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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 5:19 p.m., Thursday, December 14, 2006

South King Street traffic patterns to change

Advertiser Staff

The city is shifting a traffic pattern in downtown Honolulu beginning Dec. 21 that will limit the right-hand lane of South King Street beyond Fort Street Mall only to right turns onto Bishop Street, except for city buses.

City officials said the change is being made in conjunction with the consolidation of two nearby bus stops on King Street - fronting Bank of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Co. - into one new stop near Alakea Street fronting First Hawaiian Bank.

Transportation Services Director Melvin Kaku said the changes should improve safety and traffic circulation in the area.

"We have notified the Downtown Neighborhood Board and affected businesses, and they have all approved," Kaku said.

The changes are expected to reduce queuing of traffic on King at Bishop, a situation that prompted some drivers to try to zip around stopped buses to turn onto Bishop. Kaku said the changes will also improve travel times for buses and make it easier for right turns from King Street onto Bishop and Richards streets.

He said regular service and morning peak hour express buses that currently stop on King Street in front of Bank of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Co. will switch to the new bus stop fronting First Hawaiian Bank near Alakea Street beginning Dec. 21.

The existing bus stop on King just past Alakea, near the Subway restaurant, will continue to serve A, B and C express buses, he said.