Pedestrians Over 65 At Great Risk In Hawaii

Theresa Cummings
Theresa Cummings
Bill Hartmann
Bill Hartmann

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii leads the nation as the most dangerous state for pedestrians over the age of 65. A group of Oahu residents gathered tonight to find a way to stop the deadly crashes from happening. They hit the streets, to bring attention to pedestrian safety and to look for solutions.

Theresa Cummings, a Kalihi resident, says one problem is that seniors citizens do not have enough time to cross the street.

"The light changes too fast and by the time it changes, we're in the middle of the crosswalk," Cummings says.

Busy roads like King Street can often be a safety hazard for pedestrians. Engineers program these traffic lights to move cars as efficiently as possible. But that leaves pedestrians flat-footed.

Urban Planner, Charlie Gandy, says "We got traffic that's moving too fast, the volume is too high and pedestrians are treated like second-class citizens."

Senior citizens see it first hand.

"There's a lot of people always in a rush to get somewhere and they don't have the courtesy of stopping or at least slowing down for a senior citizen," Cummings says.

Bill Hartmann is an avid cyclist and says it's not any better for him. Hartmann says, "It's dangerous here on the islands."

Gandy says there are things the City and County Of Honolulu can do to make the streets safer.

"We can synchronize these lights so that we can accommodate cars coming through this neighborhood at 50 miles per hour or we can accommodate them at 20 miles per hour," Gandy adds.

Looking for solutions so fewer roadside memorials pop up on our islands. This was the third out of four workshops this week.

The last one is scheduled for Saturday at Washington Middle School in the Mo'ili'ili and Mccully neighborhood.