Imagine the Honolulu Marathon, the King Kamehameha parade, the first day of school, road work on Farrington Highway, an accident on H-1 and a visit from a U.S. president happening simultaneously.
That’s a rough idea how difficult it might be for tourists and residents to navigate sections of Honolulu’s roadways during the peak of the APEC summit from Nov. 11-13.
Based on APEC security restrictions released Thursday by the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement and public safety agencies, transportation will be particularly difficult on Saturday, Nov. 12, around the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki, and Sunday, Nov. 13, at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani in Ko Olina.
Those are the date and locations for the APEC leaders’ meetings, which will be led by President Barack Obama and include the leaders of 20 other member states, such as China, Russia, Japan, Mexico and Canada.
“Security and transportation restrictions have been coordinated to ensure the safety and security of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting leaders and delegates,” according to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “Every effort has been made to minimize the impact of these safety measures. The public’s cooperation and patience is appreciated during this time.”
Local tourism officials have said Waikiki — the mecca of Hawaii tourism — will be open for business during APEC.
In fact, sections of it will be virtually impenetrable during key APEC events.
Road closures around the Hale Koa, which sits adjacent to the state’s largest hotel complex, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, will begin at 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, and contine until midnight Saturday.
The closures will affect lanes on Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue, two vital thoroughfares.
There will be “Emergency No Parking” signs posted, fencing and other barriers. Pedestrian traffic inside the restricted areas will be limited to residents and owners and employees of local businesses that fall within the secure area.
“Government issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, non-driver photo identification or passport will be required to gain access,” according to Homeland Security.
Avoid Ko Olina
Security restrictions for the area around the J.W. Marriott Ihilani at Ko Olina begin at 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, and continues through 11 p.m. Sunday.
The worst time will be between 8:30-9:30 a.m. Sunday.
“All visitors and residents should anticipate roadway restrictions on H-1 Freeway westbound and Farrington Highway between Waikiki and Ko Olina,” said DHS. “All are advised to use alternate routes during this time period.”
The same restrictions on parking and pedestrian traffic that will be imposed on Waikiki apply to Ko Olina.
As with Waikiki, the Ko Olina area is home to many residences and businesses — including the new Disney Aulani Resort. There will be detours for public transportation and special instructions for residents, guests and business owners and employees.
Avoid Harbors, Airport, Beaches
Because of the high security, there will also be restrictions for Honolulu International Airport and airspace.
A security zone will be in place for the airport — it extends out into the surrounding ocean — from 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, through 11 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.
There will also be security zones off shore from Kahe Point Beach Park to Barber’s Point Harbor, which will restrict vessel access. The Ala Wai Canal, McCully Street bridge and the Ala Wai Boat Harbor will similarly be restricted.
As well, zones will encompass the beach access areas behind the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hale Koa Hotel and Fort DeRussy Park.
“The beach access is restricted to all personnel and vessels. No public access,” said DHS.
Another security zone runs east of Fort DeRussy Park to the Sheraton Waikiki: “The zone is closed for vessel traffic ONLY and will remain OPEN for general public.”
Information and updates will be available online through the following websites: