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Living on Oahu
11-18-2011, 09:20 AM
Post: #1
Rainbow Living on Oahu
What are the pitfalls and problems with living on Oahu beyond traffic jams?

I visited last year staying in Waikiki and saw the North Shore. We went to the Honolulu Arts museum and two paintings that I was thrilled to see were one by Van Gogh "Wheat Fields" and the other by Gauguin. In the hustle and bustle of Waikiki I didn't get a good sense of what its actually like living there. The hotel maid was from China, yes China, not Taiwan or at least that what she said.

Vehicles parking on residential streets seems like a problem and beyond the island being over-built, what are the issues there.
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11-18-2011, 03:58 PM
Post: #2
RE: Living on Oahu
Aloha Joe and welcome to our forum. As you already pointed out, the traffic on Oahu is quite bad. That's no wonder because Oahu is where the majority of Hawaii residents live. In fact, more people live on Oahu than in the entire state of Alaska. If you look on a map and compare Alaska's and Oahu's size, this seems almost unbelievable. That being said, there are areas on Oahu that are not as densely populated as the island's south shore. But in and around Honolulu, everything (restaurants, stores, etc.) are usually very busy. The pedestrian and bicycle accident rate is also quite high here (which probably has to do with a combination of poor driving habits and road congestion).

Another big issue on Oahu is homelessness. The city has tried for many years to find a solution to this problem but so far without much success. A few more homeless shelters have been built in recent years, but there are also homeless who just don't like going to such a shelter because of the rules they would have to follow there. Also, some simply like living on the beach or street. But for many others who are working and trying really hard to get off the street it is still difficult because of the high cost of housing. It is very difficult to find a small place in Honolulu that costs less than $800/month. Most are $1,000/month and more.

Besides homelessness, drug abuse (especially crystal meth) is another problem. But I'm not sure what the exact figures are. Other disadvantages (but there are not limited to Oahu only but include the neighbor islands as well) is the high cost of living (electricity, gas, groceries, etc. are more expensive here than in many other places in the U.S.).
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11-18-2011, 05:38 PM
Post: #3
RE: Living on Oahu
Hi Joe-
Honolulu receives between 4 and 5 million visitors each year. That is about one forth of those visiting Paris, France. The big difference is that about 90% of those have thoughts at least once of living in Hawaii, and also the only part of Hawaii that they see is Oahu and Honolulu.
Even though it is highly populated, the density is just a fraction of many places in the orient.
No wonder that the islands have been chosen as paradise by many. Unfortunately, the state at this time, is better equipped to serve visitors than it is residents. The ratio of needs vs resources is out of proportion. It takes taxes to provide services and it takes employed folks to pay those taxes. No two ways about that one.
Meth is not unique to any physical location or income group. Even our little village in the clean state of Nebraska has probably two or three meth labs in it. It is definitely a growing problem everywhere due to availability and cost. People most likely arrived in Honolulu with that addiction rather than gained it there.
Why do people flock to the islands to live? Status probably rates high and of course when visiting anywhere, one sees the pros and selectively overlooks the cons of taking up residence there. Paradise really does override Prudence and draws one, including me for many years.
The idea of raising kids in an apartment 20 stores of the street kinda brought me to my senses. Smile Thanks for your thought stirring post!
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11-20-2011, 01:09 PM
Post: #4
RE: Living on Oahu
(11-18-2011 03:58 PM)kaniamea Wrote:  Aloha Joe and welcome to our forum. As you already pointed out, the traffic on Oahu is quite bad. That's no wonder because Oahu is where the majority of Hawaii residents live. In fact, more people live on Oahu than in the entire state of Alaska. If you look on a map and compare Alaska's and Oahu's size, this seems almost unbelievable. That being said, there are areas on Oahu that are not as densely populated as the island's south shore. But in and around Honolulu, everything (restaurants, stores, etc.) are usually very busy. The pedestrian and bicycle accident rate is also quite high here (which probably has to do with a combination of poor driving habits and road congestion).

Another big issue on Oahu is homelessness. The city has tried for many years to find a solution to this problem but so far without much success. A few more homeless shelters have been built in recent years, but there are also homeless who just don't like going to such a shelter because of the rules they would have to follow there. Also, some simply like living on the beach or street. But for many others who are working and trying really hard to get off the street it is still difficult because of the high cost of housing. It is very difficult to find a small place in Honolulu that costs less than $800/month. Most are $1,000/month and more.

Besides homelessness, drug abuse (especially crystal meth) is another problem. But I'm not sure what the exact figures are. Other disadvantages (but there are not limited to Oahu only but include the neighbor islands as well) is the high cost of living (electricity, gas, groceries, etc. are more expensive here than in many other places in the U.S.).

Thanks. Very informative.
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03-02-2012, 08:39 AM
Post: #5
RE: Living on Oahu
(11-18-2011 03:58 PM)kaniamea Wrote:  Besides homelessness, drug abuse (especially crystal meth) is another problem. But I'm not sure what the exact figures are. Other disadvantages (but there are not limited to Oahu only but include the neighbor islands as well) is the high cost of living (electricity, gas, groceries, etc. are more expensive here than in many other places in the U.S.).

Aloha, Kaniamea, mauibb and Joe.

Thanks as well from me for this thread, the questions and replies. I'm planning on moving there sometime next year so these are questions I'm asking as well as others (see my original post and the repost in both the Ex-Pats and this General Hawaii threads as I won't waste the space to repost it again here, but would appreciate some thoughts to the post's questions, concerns and comments).

This forum is actually offering more practical, real-life-living-in-Hawaii/Oahu information than what I've found elsewhere on the net, so thank you all for providing your thoughts and advice.
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