State plans rapid rollout of raised pedestrian crosswalks, citing encouraging new data
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is planning a rapid expansion of raised pedestrian crosswalks following new data that shows the traffic measures are working to reduce crashes on Hawaii’s roads.
The first raised pedestrian crosswalks were installed in Kalihi in 2019.
Transportation officials say there are now more than 130 in the state — with dozens more on the way.
“At the end of the day, raised pedestrian crosswalks are about saving lives,” said state Transportation Director Ed Sniffen, who adds the state and city will install nearly 60 more raised crosswalks in the next year.
Sniffen says communities that were worried they would slow traffic flow have been blessed with fewer crashes.
A Nanakuli stretch averaged 11 crashes a year before the speed humps and five in the year after.
“That’s not just Nanakuli. That’s in the 134 locations we building them in the state. Based on that, it’s working,” said Sniffen.
A crosswalk outside Hale Keiki private school in Salt Lake is up next.
Its vice principal told HNN it’s much needed.
“Years ago a parent was walking with their child to school and a car was driving by and the tire flew off and hit the child in the faces,” said Jolynn Komoda, with Hale Keiki. “If it will deter the speeders from speeding and protecting our babies at Hale Keiki school I’m definitely for it.”
There are already 10 raised crosswalks in Kailua and Kaneohe.
A new one will be installed on Kamehameha Highway outside the Windward City Shopping Center.
“I know there is a lot of foot traffic here because I know a lot of people do walk to work so I think that is a good idea and a lot of people don’t stop,” said Beth Ines, who lives on the Windward side.
But even some who support the traffic measures say the state shouldn’t get too carried away.
“Don’t get too crazy with it. I’ve been on the west side and they have quite a bit of speed bumps there,” said Komoda.
The DOT says each raised pedestrian sidewalk costs between $50,000 to 150,000.
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