Narrowing lanes? One traffic expert suggests it will make Oahu's roads safer

Narrowing lanes? One traffic expert suggests it will make Oahu's roads safer
Updated: Jun. 27, 2017 at 10:03 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As speeding cars and pedestrian safety remains on the mind of some Pearl City residents, a national traffic expert is examining ways to make Oahu's roads safer.

National traffic expert Mark Fenton was invited by Honolulu City Council members to examine the island's roads, and offer suggestions for improvements.

One hot spot in Pearl City particularly caught his attention.

The speed limit on Waimano Home Road is 35 miles per hour, but resident Dan Secretario still doesn't feel completely safe on afternoon walks with his wife, Marilyn.

"Dangerous! Get cars speed over here so fast it's just like there's a raceway here, up and down," Secretario said.

Fenton thinks thinks the problem on Waimano Home Road is the width of the lanes.

"It invites me to go fast because it's big, it's wide, it's straight," he said. "I feel like a driver that this should be 45, 50 miles-an-hour, even though we post it 35 because it's residential."

Fenton favors the Complete Streets concept, simple steps to make streets safer for all users.

"Simply narrowing lanes a bit can slow traffic but also give us room then to stripe a bicycle lane on the edge of the road," he said.

The city is mapping out a planning study to see how it can make Moanalua Road and Waimano Home Road safer. Any Complete Streets initiative would be in conjunction with the city's repaving projects.

Fenton thinks the issues on Waimano can be solved at moderate cost to taxpayers.

For a mid-block crosswalk he suggests it would be safer for pedestrians if a center lane were re-striped.

"And even maybe make it an island and protect the pedestrian when they're in the middle of the road," he said.

Fenton applauds the city for incorporating the Complete Streets Concept in some projects, but he encourages the public to get involved.

His suggestions for Waimano Home Road will go to the city's Complete Streets group.

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