City considers lowering speed limit on King Street to help pedes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City considers lowering speed limit on King Street to help pedestrians

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

King Street is known as a dangerous road to cross. Honolulu Police have responded to numerous fatalities in recent years. The city is now considering a plan to lower speed limit along King Street. 

"One statistic we know, is that the slower the car is going at the time of impact, the more likely the pedestrian will survive the impact and have less severe injuries," says Michael Formby, Director of the Department of Transportation Services for the city. 

Formby says it has worked in major cities like New York where pedestrian fatalities have been significantly decreased. 

"For every five miles per hour that you drop the speed limit, more pedestrians survive, vehicle-pedestrian accidents," Formby says. 

One of the biggest problems with King Street, unprotected crosswalks. 

"They're what we call mid-block crosswalks, so there's no signals so the people are just going to step out and they think that the motorists are going to stop and they don't,"Says Major Calvin Tong of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division

The speed limit on King Street varies, from 25 in some areas to 35 in others. Formby says he doesn't know if the speed limit would be reduced across the entire stretch or in just certain areas. 

Formby is also looking at reducing the speed limit in school zones, which would require the approval of State lawmakers. State Representative Karl Rhoads thinks it's an idea worth considering. His district includes Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei and Chinatown, all areas that King Street runs through. 

"You have schools on it, and un-signalized pedestrian crosswalks, and it's gotten to the point where it's just dangerous for pedestrians to cross," says Rhoads. 

This is just an idea, so it will take time for the city to come up with a plan.

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