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View Poll Results: Which do you most often use: Pali Highway, Likelike Highway or H-3 Freeway?
Pali Highway 7 20.00%
Likelike Highway 10 28.57%
H-3 Freeway 14 40.00%
None of the above. It get around from the North Shore or Makapu'u side 1 2.86%
None of the above. I have a helicopter, hot air baloon or other means 3 8.57%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Default Pali, Likelike or H-3?

I was doing some errands in Kaneohe this past week, when driving back to town, I actually stopped and thought for a minute to decide which highway I should take to get back there.

I didn't have anything to do afterward on the leeward west side, so H-3 was immediately out.

My destination was back to our office which is near downtown, so then I thought, if I took Likelike, I'd either have to fight traffic on H-1 to get from Kalihi to downtown. Or, take the Kalihi street cutoff and drive down King Street east-bound, dealing with all the traffic lights and construction work along the way in the Palama area. If I wanted to stop somewhere in the area to get lunch (like, oh say Richie's Drive Inn or Kiawe Grill), not a problem, but I already had lunch.

So it made perfect sense that I take Pali highway, as that's the most direct route to downtown from the windward side...


Driving on Pali Highway heading into downtown

Another plus to Pali Highway, is I think it's a better scenic route, as there's great birds-eye view of Kaneohe and Kailua from there on the windward side, as well as nice view of the homes and religious monuments on the town side....


Driving on Pali highway through Nuuanu

Here's a quick set of pros and cons to consider with each of these highways:

Likelike highway
Pros:
• Centrally-located in Kaneohe and fastest to get on from there.
• Most direct route to the airport and Mapunapuna from the windward side
• Nice view of the Koolau mountains, especiallly when it rains and there's waterfalls!
• Lower elevation level ideal for those who have fear of heights (especially for the driver)
Cons:
• Must get on H-1 in order to get to town or farther east, or:
• Must drive through urban Kalihi and fight traffic lights and on/or ongoing construction projects
• Wilson Tunnel is LOOOOONGGGGGG (especially a problem for those who are claustrophobic)
• No scenic lookouts to stop and take pictures

Pali Highway
Pros:
• Most direct route to downtown Honolulu and farther east from the windward side
• Most direct route from town to Kailua town
• Beautiful scenic route, including lookout stops overlooking Kaneohe and Kailua, as well a nice drive through Nuuanu
• Pali Tunnel (2) is short
Cons:
• High elevation and suspended roadway could be a problem for those who fear heights
• Hairpin turn and windy roadway on windward side can be hazardous if not careful
• Stop lights on town side of highway as you get closer to town

H-3 Freeway
Pros:
• Most direct route from the windward side to Pearl City, Aiea, Pearl Harbor and the rest of the west side of Oahu
• Incredible view of Kaneohe Bay from the elevated roadway suspended high above Haiku valley
• Wider lanes and higher 60 MPH speed limit (it's a freeway)
Cons:
• Extremely elevated above sea level roadway could be a problem for those who fear heights
• Super-looooooooonnnngggggg Tunnel could be a problem for those who are claustrophobic (or tunnel-phobic)
• Drive on the town side of tunnel through Halawa Valley seems endlessly long

Which highway through the Koolau mountains from the windward side of Oahu to the leeward side do you most often choose to drive and why?
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Last edited by Pomai; February 22nd, 2009 at 01:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 01:31 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
Pali Highway
Cons:
• No scenic lookouts to stop and take pictures
Wait. What's that? Have I been imagining the Pali Lookout all these years? It ain't just for tourists, you know. The wind, the bees, the view, the history, the Old Pali Road...

Also, there are at least two other scenic turnouts I know of, one in each direction, both Windward side of the tunnel. The Kailua-bound one gives you a great view of Olomana.


Oh, and I prefer Pali; it's just been the most convenient for our purposes most of the time, except when I'm going around for business - then H-3 often comes into play. While I recognize the value of H-3, it's a visual blight on the Ko`olaus (I'm glad that I got to see the view for a short time before the elevated roadway was in place), and I understand the controversies regarding what was destroyed in order to build it.

Last edited by Leo Lakio; February 22nd, 2009 at 01:36 PM.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Another advantage of Likelike over Pali is that there's less elevation gain. A bonus if you're in a underpowered car. I remember the school buses taking Likelike for that reason.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Leo, I thought I had deleted that line under the Pali Highway cons, but see I didn't, so now I just did. Sorry about that.

Pali indeed has lookouts. Several in fact. One right after the hairpin turn overlooking Kailua on the Kailua-bound side of the highway. Another one town-bound overlooking Kaneohe and Kailua, and of course PALI LOOKOUT! (post edit: I see you already pointed those out. ha ha)

Oh, and also a lookout overlooking the Japanese shrine at Nuuanu Cemetary just on the side of Papakolea area.
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Last edited by Pomai; February 22nd, 2009 at 01:50 PM.
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  #5  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

A hot air balloon works best for me!

It's usually an easy decision for me based on where I am and where I'm headed.
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  #6  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

I would like the helicopter, myself.

I have an account with Island Hoppers.

But seriously, back when I lived in Hawaii, I preferred the Pali.

Last edited by Vanguard; February 22nd, 2009 at 02:28 PM.
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  #7  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

For those of us who regularly use Pali after dark (or before dawn), it's been a sore point that street lighting for most of the Honolulu side has not been working since Thanksgiving (yes, November 2008) when there as an accident that knocked out a critical piece of equipment that controls the lights. DOT spokesperson Tami Mori says "parts/equipment are on order." Most recently, "shipping has been delayed." How many times have we heard that before out here mid-Pacific? It is incomprehensible to me that this continues...at this point, why bother fixing the lights? It's been 3 months, and the fixes (again quoting Mori) aren't likely to be done until May - that's six months. Guess we can do without them? Think of all of the money saved on electricity!
I also relayed information to her that many of the lights Kailua side just outside the tunnels are out, and that lights farther down the road, while operating, flicker on and off - all the way down to the hairpin turn. This problem (of which she was not aware) is apparently not related to the town-side outage - but it has been a problem for more than a month
End of rant.
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  #8  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Pali Highway for me. It's the closest to where I live and it's the most scenic drive. Likelike is second, and H3 is a very distant third. For some reason, H3 is a scary drive.
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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

It's the H-3 for me since I travel mostly in the central Oahu, Pearl City, and Aiea areas.

Overall, I enjoy driving. Except for yesterday when I had to go to Ewa Beach and got stuck in the traffic on Fort Weaver Road trying to get out of there around 10:00 a.m. I can't imagine what people go through on Monday-Friday!
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
It's usually an easy decision for me based on where I am and where I'm headed.
The only time it's really a question is if one is going between downtown Honolulu and Kaneohe. It becomes a question of H1 vs Kamehameha Hwy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimo View Post
For those of us who regularly use Pali after dark (or before dawn), it's been a sore point that street lighting for most of the Honolulu side has not been working since Thanksgiving (yes, November 2008)
I'll believe the government is serious about energy when they start re-thinking their street light policy.

Likelike Hwy on Kaneohe side has a stretch that's gone out this past week.
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  #11  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

eric and i do likelike. if we're going to the windward side, it's 99% because we're going from kaimuki to hauula. the other routes pose no advantage for us.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
Likelike highway
Pros:
• Most direct route to the airport and Mapunapuna from the windward side
Hmmmm.... I would say this is debatable based on traffic on any given day. Remember you have to get off Likelike and on to H-1 to double-back to the airport. H-3 takes you straight there, plus you can drive a lot faster! (Higher speed limit, but moreover, H-3 has become a drag strip )

Incidentally, I still use Likelike the most, because usually, it is the most direct route to where I am going (either direction).
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  #13  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Like Like all the way. I'm stuck in a rut and am comfortable with the route.
I don't like the curves and twists of the Pali. Plus, it's easier to get directly
to the LL from my house. To get to the Pali I have to take a circuitous route
through Kaneohe and past the golf course and all that, seems to take more
time. Maybe not but that's just me and my opinion!
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  #14  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

TheBus routes #55, #56 and #65 uses the Pali. I am not sure which highway the #57 takes.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by helen View Post
TheBus routes #55, #56 and #65 uses the Pali. I am not sure which highway the #57 takes.
I remember catching the Express Bus from high school to home in Kaneohe, and one particular driver used to be like the Bus Driver from Hell! He used to BLAZE down Pali, even around the turns, as if them Grumman buses were built like Formula 1 cars. I swear we came close to going right over the side of the suspended road on the windward side of the Pali a few times. Or at least it seemed so as a passenger! Scary stuff, man.

Here's a good question: Which one of the three has the most HPD presence and speed limit enforcement? In my recent experience, it seems Pali has the most. Especially on the town side of the tunnel.

As TuNnL pointed out, H-3 has become a drag strip, and was a drag strip even before the freeway was complete, when it was in its infancy as just a small strip of roadway leading from Kaneohe Marine Base. Then you had that highly publicized YouTube video of that johnny racer on his Yamaha R-1 blazing over 150 MPH from almost beginning to end on the H-3. There's a thread here about that somewhere.

Yet, YET, of all the times I've driven over the H-3 in the last few years, haven't seen one cop there. And many cars easily going over 70. Thankfully we don't hear too much about bad accidents on the H-3 (knocks on wood).
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
I remember catching the Express Bus from high school to home in Kaneohe, and one particular driver used to be like the Bus Driver from Hell! He used to BLAZE down Pali, even around the turns, as if them Grumman buses were built like Formula 1 cars. I swear we came close to going right over the side of the suspended road on the windward side of the Pali a few times. Or at least it seemed so as a passenger! Scary stuff, man.

Here's a good question: Which one of the three has the most HPD presence and speed limit enforcement? In my recent experience, it seems Pali has the most. Especially on the town side of the tunnel.

As TuNnL pointed out, H-3 has become a drag strip, and was a drag strip even before the freeway was complete, when it was in its infancy as just a small strip of roadway leading from Kaneohe Marine Base. Then you had that highly publicized YouTube video of that johnny racer on his Yamaha R-1 blazing over 150 MPH from almost beginning to end on the H-3. There's a thread here about that somewhere.

Yet, YET, of all the times I've driven over the H-3 in the last few years, haven't seen one cop there. And many cars easily going over 70. Thankfully we don't hear too much about bad accidents on the H-3 (knocks on wood).
Sorry to use your whole post, I've still not gotten the single quote feature down! Anyway there are frequent multiple cop cars/motorcycles (usually 3)
going down the Like Like. They'll progress along past the tunnels and end just after that state thing where I think they park their trucks and have some sort of division there. I have seen the final of the three right after the runaway truck ramp. A sure sign is everyone putting on the brakes on the downhill 9 out of 10 times the speed traps start.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leashlaws View Post
Sorry to use your whole post, I've still not gotten the single quote feature down![...]
Psssst, leashlaws! You actually did do the single quote. If you didn't want to use the quote in it's entirety then, AFTER you click the 'quote' button, just delete the part(s) of the quote you don't want to use. The bracketed QUOTE and /QUOTE need to remain. </pssst!>

Back on topic! I rarely drive to the windward side anymore so I let my passport expire.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:36 PM
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Red face Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

My family and I love the H-3 and take it whenever we can. Like most, though, the decision is based more on where you want to go (i.e. Pearl Harbor to Kaneohe versus downtown to Lanikai) than most other considerations. The H-3 view is hard to beat, the higher speed limit refreshing, and my wife likes to hold her breath through the Tetsuo Harano tunnel.

That said, we know several people who avoid the H-3 for cultural, historical, political, and simply superstitious reasons. For me, that just means less traffic!
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

I too avoided the H3 for a long time. Then Frank Kawaiokapualani Hewitt
(sorry if I misspelled) gave it his blessing as a route to travel and I started
using it. This of course was almost daily at the time as I worked at the Costco
outlet store location and it made life much easier to commute to!
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
Psssst, leashlaws! You actually did do the single quote. If you didn't want to use the quote in it's entirety then, AFTER you click the 'quote' button, just delete the part(s) of the quote you don't want to use. The bracketed QUOTE and /QUOTE need to remain. </pssst!>
Oh, Tutu, you self-described non-techie you. When you do a [psssst!] you close it with brackets like this [/psssst], not with those pointy-eared thingies like this </pssst!>.


Quote:
Back on topic! I rarely drive to the windward side anymore so I let my passport expire.
Passports are only required for the makai side of the road. The mauka side only needs a Visa.
Or an American Express.

Back on topic. There are motorcycle cops sitting on the townbound side of H-3 quite often. Usually three to five of them.
And as for the original question, I use whichever one is most convenient for where I'm going in town, but I usually take the H-3 coming home.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by helen View Post
TheBus routes #55, #56 and #65 uses the Pali. I am not sure which highway the #57 takes.
Looking at The Bus map, 4, 55, 56, 57, 57A, 65, 85, 89 take the Pali,

85, 85A, 86, 86A, 88, 88A take Likelike
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  #22  
Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Drove on H-3 everyday for work from 2000-2003 when I lived on Oahu. We were in Ewa Beach and I worked in K-Bay. H-3 was like heaven... when compared to the time I spent during the rest of the commute on H-1 and Fort Weaver Road.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

I rarely go to the windward side since I don't live there. My commute is mostly in town. So if I were to pick one, it be "none" but not for the reasons stated in the poll.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

I'm an H-3'er. Hop on from the H-1 and spin around the little cloverleaf. Dial up my I-Pod to my H-3 song (yes, it has it's own song), hit repeat, then sit back and gawk at the K-Mountains in all their glory. Wizz through the super-fun tunnel and shoot out the other side into a completely different weather pattern. Kaneone Bay is on the left and never fails to make me smile. Strain for a glimpse of the Stairway on the right just before the small tunnel. Then it's making sure you get the hell outta the way for any trucks that picked up speed during the descent. By the time I exit Kam Hwy, I'm grinning like an idiot. No matter how awful I felt on H-1, I always feel awesome after driving the H-3. That's one thing I really, really miss.

Yes, I realize I'm a total weirdo. But I didn't grow up there and didn't get jaded by, "Oh look, more mountains. BFD."

Likelike is not as scenic. The Pali...well. It's okay, but it's not half as cool as the H-3. Although St. Stephen's at the corner of Ahi is one of my landmarks (with the three bells).

And I've seen cops most times I drove the H-3. They're on the Ewa-bound side about a mile before the H-1.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Pali, Likelike or H-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
85, 85A, 86, 86A, 88, 88A take Likelike
After March 2, 2009 the 86 and 86A will be using the H-3.

On the poll I selected None of the above. I have a helicopter, hot air baloon or other means, because I either take TheBus or catch a ride with someone else when I go to the Windward side.
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