HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When the city first began installing pedestrian safety bulbouts at some Chinatown intersections last June, many neighborhood residents were quick overlook their intended purpose and instead called them an eyesore.
This week, a local artist is doing her best to change that perception.
Kayleigh Chalkowski first proposed a series of murals over the bulbouts last year, during a neighborhood dinner designed to foster Chinatown growth. When her bid to acquire funding for the project fell through, a local engineering firm stepped in to help make the beautification project happen.
"It's actually a kind of collaboration between Hawaii FEAST (Funding Emerging Artists with Sustainable Tactics) and SSFM International," said Chalkowski. "I guess they kinda wanted to beautify these concrete structures that are intended to improve ped safety, but of course they weren't super attractive."
The bulbouts near the intersection of Nuuanu Ave. and Pauahi St. are no longer unattractive – Chalkowski has worked to paint over them with murals of wildlife that once inhabited the area we now call Chinatown.
"Basically, a long time ago, this area used to be a series of wetlands," she said. "All of these birds would've lived here. They're all native endangered wetlands birds, so these five planters are representing those species."
A celebration to commemorate the end of the project is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday night.