Waikiki sidewalk project leads to dangerous decisions - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waikiki sidewalk project leads to dangerous decisions

Tourists make dangerous decisions while navigating Waikiki's sidewalks Tourists make dangerous decisions while navigating Waikiki's sidewalks
Gabriel Rubalcaba Gabriel Rubalcaba
Painted warnings are often missed or even ignored. Painted warnings are often missed or even ignored.
Rick Egged Rick Egged
The sidewalk improvement project is scheduled to finish before the APEC summit. The sidewalk improvement project is scheduled to finish before the APEC summit.

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

Sidewalk construction along Kalakaua Avenue is causing some tourists to make dangerous decisions. Visitors are going around barriers to cut across construction sites in the evening. Others are simply walking in the street.

Taking a stroll through Waikiki can be confusing for tourists these days, especially at the crosswalk near Kalakaua Avenue and Beach Walk where people were walking in the street dangerously close to oncoming traffic.

"You saw all the construction on the side and I was like, 'Ah, not too bad," said Phoenix visitor Gabriel Rubalcaba. "But then you start walking towards it, and you're trying to find your way to navigate through the streets and sidewalks."

There is yellow tape up on one side of the crosswalk and a spray painted "closed" sign on the other side, but many people didn't see the warnings or chose to ignore them. Pedestrians simply cut through the construction zone.

"It does look a little confusing trying to find your way through what's safe and what's not safe. You might be able to fall in some of the areas, get hurt," said Rubalcaba.

"During the (active) construction they have policemen here to help direct the traffic, but apparently maybe we need a little more signage in terms of directing people so there's not pedestrians in the street when the officers aren't here," said Rick Egged of the Waikiki Improvement Association.

Down the road near Lewers Street, people waited along the side of road to cross because of all the barriers and yellow tape.

"Of course it's disruptive to have the construction done on the sidewalks, but it has to be done, and the sooner we can get it done the better," said Egged.

The sidewalk improvement project will cost taxpayer $5.5 million. The work is supposed to wrap up by the end of September, about six weeks before the APEC summit.

"The hope is that of course when we're finished with it, we're going to have much safer sidewalks, sidewalks that drain better, sidewalks that are more ADA compliant," said Egged.

 

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