Hawai`i Roads - HI 51

Opposite sides of the same assembly in south Lihu`e, with the same undersized banners where there's plenty of room left for legitimate ones, and the Hawaiian way of tagging milemarkers with the route number. The routes really should be combined into a single number, as together they form a short loop around the east side of the city, but instead they trade off at Wilcox Rd. From what I can see on aerials, Wilcox Rd. appears to have been the original route of 51, whether or not it had a number at the time (or whether Hawai`i was even a state yet), and Nawiliwili Rd. (HI 58) T'ed into it. Wilcox Road almost immediately ends into a parking lot, so even if that was the historic terminus of HI 51, there was still no reason to have two separate routes.

Curving up the hillside just north of Wilcox Rd. next to Nawiliwili Park.

Heading SB away from the airport with scenery at Halau St. and wrongness at Rice St. HI 51 turns left onto Rice St., where miraculously 1 mile has become equal to 1 kilometer. I understand the distance involved may be somewhere between the two, but why does Kaua`i need to use metric signs at all? Metric throughout Hawai`i, which blends Asian and American cultures, is at best spottily applied - for example, it will sometimes appear above certain milemarkers if the kilometers come out to roughly an even number - but Kaua`i by far implemented the metric system the most.

The last SB photos on the page, and if you thought the BEGIN and END banners were small in the first photos, take a gander at the BUSINESS banner. It's not designating a business route, it's designating the route to businesses, but from the look of it it must be a Lihu`e innovation. It's frankly impossible to read at any speed, and I didn't even notice it the first couple of times I passed the one you'll see below. This one I managed to see just fine on the one pass I took, but I knew what to look for by then. By comparison, the ALTERNATE banner is tame, although usually that's reserved for the top of a route shield and not a guide sign.

The other direction isn't perfect, either. In employing the new fad of making the first letter of the direction larger, some Hawaiian signs got it wrong and center-justified it instead of bottom-justifying. It still sticks up the correct distance above the rest of the letters, but now it also sticks down that same distance, making the initial letter far too large for the banner.

NB to the end of HI 51, full of interest as short as it is. There's that other little Business banner I found. Have you seen any others?

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