The Hanalei Bridge is crossed, the north shore driver enters a
realm of one-way bridges. Seven bridges must be crossed to arrive
at "the end of the road". Both sides of each bridge have
yield signs. This challenging situation has lead to a stringent bridge
etiquette being developed to maintain harmony in the
community. Certain rules apply regardless, but in some instances,
it's a judgment call.
For the most part, the vehicle first on the scene has the right
away. That means that if you pull up behind a line of five cars
which are making their way across the bridge, but two cars have just
arrived opposite and waiting on the other side of the bridge, you should
yield and let those two cars across before you go.
A heated debate continues over whether or not to "go with the
flow" and just let all the cars on one side go until there are no
more, and then all the cars on the opposite side go. Unfortunately
this often leads to cars racing to be part of the line making it's way
across, which can be quite irritating for the driver of the vehicle
waiting on the other side.
Crossing bridges in Hanalei can be nerve wracking and in extreme cases
has lead to folks sudden departure from the island. However, even
the Malahini can master the etiquette of bridge crossing with some sound
advice and a little practice. Here are some points to take into
- If the vehicle opposite is a big truck full of loudly
barking dogs - YIELD.
- If the vehicle opposite is a big black truck with tinted
windshields - You should yield.
- If the vehicle opposite is a big truck of any kind,
- If the vehicle opposite is a red, white, brown or blue late model
compact it's safe to make your way across the bridge.
- If you have hesitated an instant, you have lost and must yield.
It's always considered good form to wave in passing to any vehicle which
you have just snuffed by racing to beat it across.
In closing, if you find that you have made a judgment mistake and hear
loud shouting from the opposite vehicle as you pass, lock all doors and
make you way quickly to a public place. Good Luck and remember,
when in doubt, YIELD.