Things You Should Know Before your Flight to Honolulu
Honolulu has consistently been ranked as one of the United States' most livable cities, and has even earned the distinction of being the second safest city in the country. However, it is still metropolis-sized city and has the same issues that large cities around the world all have – traffic congestion for instance.
Traffic in Honolulu is among the most congested in the nation. One million people live in a relatively small area and must make do with equally small roads – there have been cases where a single traffic incident has provoked traffic gridlock across the entire island. The municipal government has put some rules in place to take the load off of drivers' shoulders:
• Many major streets have contra-flow lanes during morning and afternoon rush-hour. Look out for traffic cones indicating that the road has temporarily been changed during these times.
• Driving while holding any electronic device is illegal.
• Turning right on red lights is legal so long as there is no sign prohibiting the turn.
• Parking is not allowed on busy streets during rush hour – Parking Enforcement will ticket and tow parked cars in mere seconds if they block traffic.
• Pay attention to the cars parked on streets too narrow for dual lanes – if you are moving in the same direction as the parked cars were, you must yield to any oncoming traffic.
This information is only important for travelers that rent cars during their trip to Honolulu, but despite the traffic congestion issue, it is nonetheless highly recommended. The bus system of Oahu – imaginatively named TheBus – offers regular service for traveling around the island but does not cater to tourists traveling with luggage. This can get in the way of even a simple trip to the beach if you want to take snorkeling or scuba gear with you.
Another important traffic-related truth about Honolulu relates to the speed of Honolulu drivers – it is almost always well below the speed limit. Honolulans simply aren't in a rush, and almost never honk their horns or spur other drivers to action, even in situations that call for it. The most popular Hawaiian bumper sticker explains local driving culture succinctly: "Slow down brah, this ain't the mainland."