On Oahu’s North Shore, a call for pedestrian safety measures as big wave season begins

Parents at Sunset Beach Elementary want the state to do more to prevent a tragedy.
Published: Nov. 5, 2022 at 1:33 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As big wave season approaches and traffic increases on the North Shore, concerns are growing about pedestrian safety — especially around Sunset Beach Elementary.

The current traffic monitor for the school is on sick leave, leaving volunteers to fill the role.

Parents have since brought their concerns to the state Department of Transportation and are asking a raised sidewalk be installed to slow-down traffic.

“I firmly believe that will make a huge difference,” said Harry Bernstein, one of the volunteers.

“It kind of comes out of no where so if you are not aware that there is a school there. You’re just cruising along not worried and I’m just worried a kids going to get hit.”

The DOT started installing raised crosswalks in 2019 starting in Kalihi.

So far, more than 75 has been installed throughout the state.

DOT Deputy Director of Highways Ed Sniffen said he hopes to get a raised crosswalk installed near the school by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, some North Shore residents believe raised crosswalks are not enough to address safety concerns.

Christa Leigh, the president of Sunset Beach Elementary’s PTA, said she would like to see more enforcement from the Honolulu Police Department.

A spokesperson for HPD said they hope the traffic monitor for the area will return to work before the end of the year.

In the meantime, HPD officers will patrol the school zone.