After a community uproar, a crosswalk that was removed in Kakaako will be restored
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Improvements are finally underway for a busy crosswalk near a popular Kakaako park.
On Saturday, House Speaker Scott Saiki was joined by other lawmakers, the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Department of Transportation Services at Kolowalu Park to announce that the crosswalk between Queen and Waimanu will be repainted, and a pedestrian refuge center will be installed.
“So, we met with the state and the city on Monday afternoon and during that meeting we came up with this plan,” said Saiki.
Jay Hall of Kakaako said he and his family have been waiting for this moment.
“So absolutely happy that they’re finally doing something for the safety of the community,” said Hall.
This change is what Kakaako residents, like Karen Cheung, have been pushing for over the last year.
“But before that, it was really hopeless,” said Cheung. “It was going nowhere for nine months.”
“One of the problems with this area is that there’s been development over the past few years,” Saiki explained. “This area has changed very rapidly. And that’s why decisions were made along the way to remove the crosswalk and to do other improvements in the area.”
Cheung said about 100 families have been writing to the city and HCDA over the last nine months.
Jon Nouchi, deputy director of DTS, said they have received letters and inquiries related to the crosswalk.
“There are some complications regarding the jurisdiction of the roadway,” said Nouchi.
Executive Director of HCDA, Craig Nakamoto, said this temporary plan will take up to six months to complete.
“So, we’re going to get this done as quick as we can,” said Nakamoto.
Residents hope improvements to the crosswalk will be made a priority.
“And yes, it seems long but I’m very happy that there is a goal to look forward to,” said Cheung.
“If they could do it sooner, we could expedite the process,” said Hall. “I would like that for my family at least and the rest of the family that comes here.”
Saiki said there is a second phase to the project which would include a rapid flashing beacon system.
He adds that he, state Rep. Sharon Moriwaki and Rep. Adrian Tam have worked to secure funding for the project. They have up to $1 million to pay for the improvements.
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