Kakaako residents welcome back crosswalk and plans for new dog park

In May, lawmakers appropriated $1 million in the state budget for the project.
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 4:11 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 2, 2022 at 5:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents and their dogs celebrated the return of a crosswalk between Queen and Waimanu streets, and a new dog park at Kolowalu Park.

State and city officials discussed plans for the crosswalk back in March.

In May, lawmakers appropriated $1 million in the state budget for the project.

“In this day and age when we see so much at the government level, just being brought down and inefficient, and just never getting done false promises. These guys put this together in three months, in three months,” House Speaker Scott Saiki said.

On Tuesday, crews will paint the road and set up a temporary pedestrian refuge center. The next phase will be more permanent like flashing lights and a raised island.

“This allows us a step that we can test the design and we can tweak the design, and we’ve shown that even temporary designs can actually drastically reduce crashes,” said Jon Nouchi, Deputy Director of the city Department of Transportation Services.

But humans aren’t the only ones benefiting from improvements.

$1 million was also set aside to create an enclosed, off leash dog park with water spigots and benches at Kolowalu Park Mauka.

“It’s not good for the dogs to share the park with the children and the families, families and children need a clean place to enjoy and the dogs do too,” resident Jeanne Datz Rice said.

“In this condo district, the animals create a sense of community because these dog owners know each other, talking and having fun,” Saiki said.

“The dog park, the crosswalk, the park itself is about building communities,” said Craig Nakamoto, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which manages the road and the project.

He feels it could serve as a model for other neighborhoods.

“There’s a lot of places where there’s unsignalized crossings, that maybe and over multiple lanes, and those are kind of areas that need the these kind of sort of protected islands,” said Nakamoto.

“You just want your neighborhood your home your community to be safe. And this feels more and more like home,” said resident Karen Cheung.

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