Community grapples with more visitors (and headaches) as popular new businesses move in

Residents want speed bumps, raised crosswalks, and maybe even a traffic light to deter speeders.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:09 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:18 AM HST
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EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents along Keoneula Boulevard in Ewa Beach say they’ve seen more traffic as more residences are built and more businesses come to the neighborhood.

The intersection of Keoneula and Kamakana Street is where a woman flipped her vehicle Wednesday night before being arrested for DUI.

Residents said she was going more than 70 miles per hour and barely missed a woman walking her dogs.

“We were home last night having dinner when we heard the crash outdoors,” said Rick Peterson.

“Yeah, the big squeal and the crash,” added his wife, Cathy Peterson.

According to residents, the driver had been drinking at a new restaurant at The Lineup at Wai Kai, the new wave pool attraction at the end of Keoneula Boulevard.

In a statement, Wai Kai general manager Greg Champion said:

“We understand the community’s concern regarding the accident last night involving a patron leaving our facility. Like other restaurant establishments, we encourage individuals to drink responsibly and plan alternate modes of transportation. The safety of our guests and employees is a top priority.”

The day after the crash, a new speed sign went up and there was a higher police presence at the intersection.

The area’s state representative said Wai Kai has been welcomed by the community.

“We’re also looking for new business, new venues, new areas to take our keiki and our families to enjoy good family time, besides just the parks and the beach. But I do understand it’s a growing community,” said state Rep. David Alcos III (R-Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, Barbers Point).

The neighborhood also has sidewalks where families walk every evening. But the wide, smooth and mostly straight roadway is almost an invitation to go far above the 25 mile per hour speed limit.

“People don’t stop at this intersection. They’re just flying down the road,” said resident Paul Leonard.

Residents also said more people have been going up and down Keoneula since the surf park opened.

“It’s brought a lot of new traffic and a lot of new people into the community, and we’re excited about that,” said Kerstin Alston.

“However, the traffic and the speed,” she added.

“We want them to do well and we love them here, but we just want them to be careful,” said Chris Dacus, another Keoneula Blvd. resident, about Wai Kai.

Residents want speed bumps, raised crosswalks, and maybe even a traffic light to deter speeders.

“Maybe even signage that says we’re a residential community. We’re not commercial. These are homes, and people live along here. So maybe just to be respectful of our community,” said Alston.