City aiming to make Oahu crosswalks safer

By Cam Tran
Published On: Aug 06 2014 04:03:40 AM HST
Updated On: Jul 07 2014 11:59:36 PM HST

After three deadly pedestrian accidents in Kalihi in a matter of months, the city is taking action to make crosswalks there safer.

HONOLULU -

Soon, old lamps in Kalihi will be replaced by brighter LED street lights.  The lights will be installed in North King Street near crosswalks between Kopke Street and Richard Lane.

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"Right now, we have these beautiful LED lamps.  The way they were set up, they project upward than downward," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.  "With the LED, they are going to be flat and project downward and focuses on the street."

These new lights come after three pedestrians were killed on this stretch of North King Street.

In February, a 67-year-old woman died after a truck hit her near North King Street and Kopke Street.  Later that month, another woman was hit by a city garbage truck near Gulick Avenue.

And in June, a city bus hit a 55-year-old man while he was crossing near Richard Lane.  All of these accidents happened during the early morning hours while it was still dark outside.

"We're gonna see if this works.  This is about taking action and doing something and seeing if it makes an improvement," said Caldwell.  "If it doesn't, we will look at other things, too."

Neighbors have complained about the lack of lighting in the area.  The city says these lights will be significantly brighter than the old ones.

"I drive home at night, and I can barely see the lights and sometimes I think there's a power outage.  That's how dark it is," said Councilman Joey Manahan.  "So this is going to be a welcomed improvement for the area to make it a lot safer."

The city says the project should cost less than $20,000 and pedestrians should be able to use the new lights by the end of the week.

The street light replacement is part of the Complete Streets Package where the city will replace all of the lights with brighter LED ones.

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