Kalihi pedestrian crash creates push for safer crosswalks
Updated On: Feb 27 2014 09:56:42 PM HST
A Kalihi pedestrian death on Thursday morning is the second one in a month on the same stretch of King Street.
People who work and live in this area say the intersection is dangerous, but efforts are being made to make the Kalihi crosswalk safer.
"I would say at least once a week someone gets hit, easily," said Dustin Hayden who works in Kalihi.
Hayden says people are in danger any time they cross King Street near Gulick Avenue. That danger became tragedy when a city garbage truck struck and killed a 57-year-old woman. Earlier this month, a 67-year-old pedestrian was killed after getting hit by a truck just a half block away.
"This is one of the most dangerous intersections that we have in all of Honolulu," said Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan.
Manahan says drivers making a left turn at this busy intersection have to yield to other motorists as well as pedestrians. After missing several light cycles, drivers get rushed.
"Right now if it's green, maybe they don't notice there's a pedestrian walking so they just go," said Reynie Buday, a pedestrian.
That's why Manahan wants a green arrow for those turning left installed, so drivers can turn without pedestrians in the cross walk.
"What we have been asking now for over a year is a dedicated left hand turn on all four parts of the intersection so motorists and pedestrians can have a right away," said Manahan.
The Department of Transportation Services denied Manahan's request last year citing, "We reviewed the intersection collision history, which we determined did not warrant left turn signals."
The city department of transportation services repainted the sidewalk and put up signs letting drivers know they need to yield to pedestrians, but one of the signs blocked the pedestrian walk signal.
Some pedestrians say bright yellow signs are not enough.
"I think they need to do a light or brighter street light to be aware. They put the new signs up, but that didn't work this morning," said Hayden.
Others point out safety goes both ways.
"I do feel safe, but you gotta watch too when you cross. You have to take a look at the traffic lights," said Buday.
The city said under the circumstances they have no comment regarding the left turn signals.
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