Honolulu will adjust city bus routes and trash pickup during the APEC summit Nov. 7-13.
The announcement, made Thursday, came just hours after the U.S. Secret Service announced security restrictions during leaders’ meetings at the Hale Koa and Ihilani hotels, and the U.S. Department of State released a traffic advisory for ministerial meetings at the Hawaii Convention Center.
As Civil Beat reported, the Secret Service’s requirements will make it particularly difficult to get in and out of Waikiki and Ko Olina.
The city wants to make sure essential services are still offered.
“We understand that security for the 21 world leaders during the APEC summit is paramount, but we also want our citizens to have as normal a life as possible during this time while these security measures are in place,” Mayor Peter Carlisle said at a press conference at Honolulu Hale.
APEC Just 17 Days Away
City officials said preparations for APEC had begun as long as a year ago, in conjunction with the Secret Service and the State Department.
Noting that APEC is just 17 days away, Carlisle said people who live and work in the areas affected by security need to review the restrictions, which will be posted online. The City and County of Honolulu has prepared a special website for APEC information and advisories.
The city’s communications can also be followed on Nixle, Facebook and Twitter. For people not using the Internet, the city will use print and TV to get the word out.
Bus routes and trash pickup are the two primary city services that will be affected by APEC, but traffic will also be affected by security needs.
“We want everyone to plan ahead,” he said.
About a dozen bus routes will be detoured because of APEC, primarily around the Convention Center and Ala Moana Shopping Center, and through Waikiki.
Wayne Yoshioka, the city’s director of Transportation Services, acknowledged that the detours will add to already congested streets, but he said the city would be monitoring the traffic flow and making adjustments to signals and routes as necessary.
“We strongly suggest you go to our website in case there are updates and adjustments,” he said. “Refinements may be necessary.”
For motorists, Yoshioka recommended that drivers traveling from West Oahu into town use Kapahulu Avenue to get into Waikiki, while those traveling from East Honolulu exit at Kahala Mall and take Kilauea Avenue to Monsarrat Avenue. McCully Street is another route into Waikiki
And, because Ala Moana and Kapiolani boulevards will not be continuous routes during APEC, Yoshioka advised using H-1, South Beretania and King Street to get through urban Honolulu.
Tim Steinberger, who runs the city’s Department of Environmental Services, said there would be delays in picking up trash and bulky material in areas affected by security restrictions, but expected delays to last no more than a day.
Collection of bulky material in Waikiki, however, will have to wait until the Tuesday after APEC. Steinberger encouraged area residents not to set their material out on curbsides until Monday evening.
The Waimanalo Gulch landfill near the Ihilani resort will also be closed on Sunday, the day world leaders will gather for a meeting.
“We will be flexible and try to work around it,” he said. “Outside those ares pick-up should not be affected, so most of the island will see day-to-day business as normal.”
Mayor Carlisle said he did not see any reason to warn residents to stay at home rather than venture out during APEC, as was advised in Los Angeles when the 405 was shutdown for repair earlier this year.
Still, he said it may be a “very good idea” not to be in effected areas — “a very, very good idea.”
Further traffic disruptions could come when motorcades for the leaders of the Unitee States, Russia and China — “the high three” — wind their way through town.
Clayton Kau, a major with the Honolulu Police Department, said the motorcades would be “unexpected” and would result in road closures.
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