(BIVN) – Recent traffic congestion on Highway 11 fronting the Mountain View Elementary School is being addressed through a multi-agency collaboration, County officials say.
The office of Hawaiʻi County Councilmember Matt Kānealiʻi-Kleinfelder on Monday provided this news release on the situation:
Given the increased traffic and community concerns on Highway 11 (also known as Volcano Highway), Mountain View Elementary School, Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation and Hawaiʻi County are working in collaboration to find immediate and long-term safety solutions.
Beginning Monday, August 8, Mountain View Elementary is providing special duty police officers to direct local traffic on a short-term basis. The school is working closely with Hawaiʻi County Police to help direct and educate drivers on appropriate parking areas in lieu of Highway 11 where current parking has been obstructing traffic flow. Puna Police Captain Scott Amaral stated, “For those parents that are unaware, parking and obstructing traffic on a state highway is prohibited by law and offenders may be issued a citation.”
Another struggle Mountain View Elementary is facing is a reduction of buses and routes. Two of five routes have been canceled due to a shortage in Robert’s bus drivers. Because of this, Principal Adria Medeiros is networking with the Hawaiʻi County Mass Transit Department to arrange availability of public transportation for students and families until the routes are reestablished. The hope is to supplement existing County routes with free fares for faculty and students as a temporary solution. Hawaiʻi County Mass Transit Administrator John Andoh stated, “The Hele-On transit system offers more routes, more programs and more opportunities for students and families to get to where they need to go. Best of all, the bus is free, so there are no cost barriers.”
Hawaiʻi County Council Member Matt Kānealiʻi-Kleinfelder praised the swift coordinated response of both the Department of Education and Hawaiʻi County officials to address concerns brought forth by residents. Mr Kānealiʻi-Kleinfelder stated, “To see State and County officials responding quickly to community concerns is brilliant. We are all committed to finding solutions for the growing pains we face in Puna.”