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Old 03-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
JenLyn1620
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Aulani - Traffic on Oahu??

Hoping to book a trip to Aulani in December 2013. I have read that traffic on Oahu is really bad. How bad is it really? Any other cities you can compare it to? Is it just bad going through Honolulu on the highway? We will be renting a car, and I am a little nervous to be driving in an unfamiliar place. Thanks!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:08 PM   #2
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We've been to Oahu exactly once so I am far from an expert. The traffic in Honolulu was pretty much horrible. The traffic in other parts of the island wasn't nearly as bad, however. We're going to Aulani in June and are renting a car. I plan to stay out of Honolulu until the last day/night when we stay at Waikiki the night before we fly out.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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It really just depended on what time of day you were traveling. In no traffic it would take around 25 minutes (if I remember correctly) to get into downtown Waikiki from Aulani. If there was traffic we allowed for about an hour so that we would not be stressed. The traffic that we encountered was not the greatest but it was what I would describe as "rolling along". Meaning you were slowed by it, occasionally to a stop, but it was still moving forward- as opposed to being at a stop for a long time.

We are from Seattle, which is pretty bad traffic wise, so I really didnt think it was all that bad. If you plan for it you should be fine.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenLyn1620 View Post
Hoping to book a trip to Aulani in December 2013. I have read that traffic on Oahu is really bad. How bad is it really? Any other cities you can compare it to? Is it just bad going through Honolulu on the highway? We will be renting a car, and I am a little nervous to be driving in an unfamiliar place. Thanks!!

The usual rush hour sucks in terms of traffic other than that it's smooth sailing! The drive to/from Honolulu and really pretty much anywhere on the island is quite easy assuming you avoid when people are trying to get to work or home.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JenLyn1620 View Post
Hoping to book a trip to Aulani in December 2013. I have read that traffic on Oahu is really bad. How bad is it really? Any other cities you can compare it to? Is it just bad going through Honolulu on the highway? We will be renting a car, and I am a little nervous to be driving in an unfamiliar place. Thanks!!
Rush hour traffic on Oahu is pretty similar to any major city with an interstate(Washington DC, NJ, NY, etc.). A lot depends on where you are trying to go. Rush hour is from around 6-9am and 3-6pm. I rented a car while at Aulani last summer and didn't have much of a problem with traffic. I tried to stay off the roads around those times. In the morning, I was usually on the tail end of traffic going into Honolulu. I only got caught one time coming back from Honolulu in the afternoon, but the traffic was moving--even if slowly--so it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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We've been to Aulani 3 times, each while staying in Waikiki before and after. In our personal experience, traffic has been okay off rush hour both ways and okay Waikiki to Aulani during morning rush hour and Aulani to Waikiki in the afternoon. Otherwise, as others have said, comparable to mainland big city rush hour (we are from Seattle). Rush hour back from North shore can be a little slower going up in the morning and back in the evening (not too bad for us).
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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If you are heading to Pearl Harbor early in the morning. Budget about an hour at least. I was worried about traffic heading to the airport for the flight home. Left Aulani around 6pm and made it in 30 minutes no problem.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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The other thing to know is that Hawaiians aren't in a big hurry. They drive the speed limit. They let you over. Not like L.A.! The traffic to me was like any rush hour around here. We planned for an hour to get from Aulani to Pearl Harbor, including stopping at Leonard's Malasadas. We got to Pearl Harbor early, even.

We did find that the GPS was NEVER accurate in terms of where YOU are. We had 3 cars among us- used Garmin, Google Maps, and the iphone turn directions. None worked right. So be aware. For example, it would say we were arriving at our destination, but it was actually 2 blocks back (and we had passed it already). Weird.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:00 PM   #9
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I have a Garmin. I updated the maps before I left and have had no problem. We ran into horrendous traffic on the way to the swap meet (last Sunday). It was construction traffic, I don't know if that was a one-time thing. The next day (Monday) we went to Pearl Harbor - traffic wasn't as bad - but knowing Sunday's was due to construction, we still under-estimated the time it would take us. I'd say allow at least an hour and if you're early, that's ok. Yesterday we drove to the North Shore (and around the North Shore). Had no problems. Really enjoyed the ride and the beaches. Macky's was as good as 'they' say! On the way back was what I would consider normal 5 o'clock type of traffic. It was fine. We're still planning one more trip back to the Honolulu area. I want to hike Diamond Head, want malasada's from Leonards, want to go to Hanauma Bay and to Halona Cove Beach, the beach in the movie From Here to Eternity.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:22 AM   #10
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So I live on Oahu. GPS is sometimes very wrong, doesn't ever get my house right. Not even the correct road. I find Waze to be the most helpful an application for traffic and navigating to places I don't know. So I am going to give you a tip only someone who lives here would know. Every night they shut down three lanes of H1 heading from downtown to Aulani. This shut down only lasts for about a mile but even at midnight can have traffic backed up over a mile. This shut down starts at about 6:30pm till about 4am each day. Also if they are behind they will keep the lanes closed down all day on Sunday. This roadwork has no scheduled end and has been going on for over six months.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:27 AM   #11
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So I live on Oahu. GPS is sometimes very wrong, doesn't ever get my house right. Not even the correct road. I find Waze to be the most helpful an application for traffic and navigating to places I don't know. So I am going to give you a tip only someone who lives here would know. Every night they shut down three lanes of H1 heading from downtown to Aulani. This shut down only lasts for about a mile but even at midnight can have traffic backed up over a mile. This shut down starts at about 6:30pm till about 4am each day. Also if they are behind they will keep the lanes closed down all day on Sunday. This roadwork has no scheduled end and has been going on for over six months.
So, that would probably explain the traffic last Sunday! Thanks Stitch Lover. I guess we'll plan on going to Diamond Head on Monday.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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We were there twice in 2012 (Jan & Dec) and neither time did we run into traffic that I would consider terrible. Yes we had a few times of slow downs on the freeway during rush hours, but otherwise it was fine. Our traffic locally is worst then what we had on our trip.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:33 AM   #13
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Rush hour traffic on Oahu is pretty similar to any major city with an interstate(Washington DC, NJ, NY, etc.). A lot depends on where you are trying to go. Rush hour is from around 6-9am and 3-6pm. I rented a car while at Aulani last summer and didn't have much of a problem with traffic. I tried to stay off the roads around those times. In the morning, I was usually on the tail end of traffic going into Honolulu. I only got caught one time coming back from Honolulu in the afternoon, but the traffic was moving--even if slowly--so it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't be too worried.
This has been my experience from several visits, both business and pleasure. It probably depends on what you're used to as well. I live in the DC area and would take Oahu any day at any time. In Oahu traffic slows but rarely comes to a complete stop, or crawls at walking speed for miles, unlike DC. But if you absolutely have to be anywhere at a specific time just allow more time to get there and risk being too early than too late.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Silly Little Pixie
The other thing to know is that Hawaiians aren't in a big hurry. They drive the speed limit. They let you over. Not like L.A.! The traffic to me was like any rush hour around here. We planned for an hour to get from Aulani to Pearl Harbor, including stopping at Leonard's Malasadas. We got to Pearl Harbor early, even.

We did find that the GPS was NEVER accurate in terms of where YOU are. We had 3 cars among us- used Garmin, Google Maps, and the iphone turn directions. None worked right. So be aware. For example, it would say we were arriving at our destination, but it was actually 2 blocks back (and we had passed it already). Weird.
I agree with how polite the drivers are and that they drive the speed limit. DC area drivers could take a hint! The screensaver on my computer is a picture of a bumper sticker I saw on a jeep when I was at the beach one day - Slow Down, This Ain't The Mainland! So funny yet so true for Hawaii.

Yes, traffic can be very bad at certain times of the day, but I didn't find it to be overly stressful like in some cities. Just allow some extra time and you'll be fine.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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Going off topic. How bad is parking at the swap meet?
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