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Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Melbourne, Australia
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378 posts
59 reviews
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Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Hi all,

I've tried the search function and can't really get what I am after so thought I would ask the brains trust :-)

1. Do I tip the car rental person that assists me with my booking/picking the car up? If so, how much. I'm a bit worried about getting this tipping thing completely wrong and offending someone :-)

2. What are the speed limits generally speaking on the freeways and then in the streets surrounding Waikiki?

3. When is the rush hour both morning and afternoon and in what direction on the freeways? Am I safe to assume any roads heading in to Honolulu are going to be affected by peak hour and travelling in the opposite direction we should be fine? Same but reverse for the afternoon?

4. I remember last time I was there I saw lots of turn right on red light signs and want to know how it works? I am guessing that it is if it clear I can turn on the red?

Would love it if someone can assist with my obsessive questions thanks!!

Australia
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393 posts
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1. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

I'm sure a local will provide you with more "real" advice but this is as fellow foreigner experience advice.

1. Do you mean the person at the rental counter? No to that

2. The speed limits were sign posted. Think it was max 55 m/h. Much slower than freeway/highway driving in Australia, and mainland US. Honolulu/Waikiki was always so congested you'll never be concerned about going over the speed limit!

3. Ok it seemed like rush hour all the time (but in reality I'm sure it's how you described it)

4. It's like our left turn on red (permitted after stopping), or you don't have that in Vic?

Duncan, Canada
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119 posts
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2. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Google <honolulu.gov>, click on traffic cams, they have both current still pictures plus you can get live pictures and can see for yourself what traffics like at different times of the day and on all the major routes, and depending on your definition of "rush hour" it can be as early as 5-6am, depending on the which route and the day, and is inbound into the Honolulu, Waikiki area, rush hour starts later on weekends, afternoon rush hour starts maybe as early as 3pm ish, but again, depends on the day and route, but it peaks around 5-6pm, but there again depends on the day, and all it takes is an accident and everything can come to a standstill. After stopping on red light, look for signs that might say "No right turn on red" especially if you are in the left lane of a 2 lane road, I know there is one when leaving the Aloha Stadium turning right on to the Kamehameha Highway. And it is very easy to go over the speed limit on any road that isn't congested, especially if you are used to driving faster at home. 55 mph is only 88 kmh, so keep an eye on your speedo, don't want to add the cost of a speeding ticket to the cost of your holiday. What I love about Hawaii, is a lot of school zone speed limits are only in effect when the kids are outside.

Edited: 26 July 2014, 18:09
Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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42,991 posts
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3. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Typically rush hour coming into Honolulu in the morning hours is from about 5:30am - 8:00am. Then traffic going out of Honolulu heading west is from 3:00pm - 6:00pm. This is weekday traffic. It's a bit better in the weekends.

Speed limits are generally 35mph in the rural areas and inside the city. Sometimes rising to 45mph. Up to 55mph on the interstate.

Be careful when making a right turn on red. There can be people in the crosswalks at that time.

Mineola, New York
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4. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Expect rush hour in all directions! Every time we headed back in Waikiki in the late afternoon after being out exploring, we ran into traffic. If you have a gps do what we did, tell it no highways....stayed out of the traffic and saw more of the island.

5. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

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Edited: 26 July 2014, 21:04
Duncan, Canada
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6. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Considering the population , We have never had real problem with traffic leaving Waikiki anytime before 3pm, or coming into Waikiki in the late afternoon, and we have come and gone from all directions, so it just depends on which route and your definition of rush hour. Bumper to bumper because of traffic lights on Ala Moana or Kalakaua for example is not the same as rush hour, which to me means bumper to bumper, 20 mph on the H1 due to high traffic volume. If traffic is moving at or near the posted speed limit, I don't call it rush hour., and we have never used or needed a GPS on Oahu, staring at a GPS is just as dangerous as texting while driving. Navigating around Oahu is not complicated if you can read a map. But to each his own. The worst thing about driving on Oahu is the number of drivers who run red lights just as its turned red, its like to them, an amber light means speed up, not slow down and prepare to stop, so never, ever, enter an intersection as a driver of pedestrian without checking that cars with the red light have stopped.

Edited: 26 July 2014, 21:09
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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7. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

One doesn't stare at a GPS, one listens to it and might glance at it from time to time.

Melbourne, Australia
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378 posts
59 reviews
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8. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate your input.

Alexandria we don't have left turn on red in Victoria (or in Tassie where we also lived).

I use a GPS from time to time and will definitely use one when we are there but I mainly just listen and glance.

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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25,950 posts
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9. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Part of H-3 is 60mph.

And I think part of H-1 is 60mph.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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10. Re: Driving query - peak/rush hour, speed limits, tipping

Traffic will be a little less hectic if you are coming during the summer because school is out!