Turtle Traffic + Winter Surf Seasons

Update on the North Shore turtle traffic mess: STILL REALLY BAD.

Got stuck in a long line of traffic twice in the past few weeks. If you’re coming from the freeway and passing Haleiwa, the traffic usually starts at the first light and crawls to the turtles that hang out at Laniakea Beach. Coming from the opposite direction, and it’s just as bad.

The turtles aren’t quite the cause of the jam but rather, the humans! Tour buses make Laniakea a daily stop for its passengers. They exit the buses from the mountain side of the street before crossing to get to the beach. Crossings happen at different times and different places on the road, and as a result, the stop-go traffic.

It’s definitely not only the tourists who frequent this spot. Laniakea, or Lani’s, is a popular break for surfers (myself included). And as we encroach upon the winter surf season, the traffic on land and in the water will only get worse!

Community members have been meeting to discuss solutions to this problem. Last I heard, the state plans to block off parking all together in order for roads to be widened. I’m wondering if an overhead pedestrian bridge would be a possibility. Ugly, yes, but helpful, definitely! Otherwise, there is already a passageway under the road that some surfers use. Direct beach-goers that way instead.

We’ll keep you updated on what develops from this dilemma. In the meantime, make sure to plan for at least a half-hour delay when cruising the North Shore.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher