The chart above shows the number of lane miles rehabilitated or resurfaced by the City and County of Honolulu from 1986 through 2002.
A lane mile is equal to one mile of roadway 10 feet wide. The data for this chart was provided to the Honolulu City Council by the Department of
Facilities Maintenance in October of 2002.
What is striking about the chart, is that as soon as Jeremy Harris was elected mayor of Honolulu in 1994, road maintenance took a nose dive. This trend continued, reaching an all-time low of just 35 lane miles resurfaced annually, right around the time of Jeremy's 2000 re-election campaign. Compare this to an average of 250 lane miles resurfaced annually during the eight years before Jeremy became mayor.
Harris chose to divert city funds away from core city functions such as road maintenance and instead, focused on glamorous construction projects that would promote his political ambitions. Let's face it, you can't have a grand opening celebration for a road-resurfacing project.
On February 4, 2003, the Honolulu Advertiser reported that Hawaii had the worst-maintained roads in the nation, according to a report issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Project. While some state and city transportation officials will dispute this finding, you don't need to be a researcher or statistician to know that our roads are a mess. Data provided by the State Department of Transportation show that from a total of 1,591 route miles of roads on Oahu, maintenance for 85% is the responsibility of the City and County.
To ignore core city services such as road maintenance and then turn around and spend millions of tax dollars on fancy projects designed to promote one's political career, is a betrayal of the taxpayers trust. It is bad government and it is the reason the city is in such bad financial shape today. Even though Jeremy is no longer campaigning for higher office (at this point anyway), his policy of misplaced priorities continues. City taxpayers will pay the price of his self-indulgence in the form of a considerable property tax hike this year.
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