Hawaii’s roads are considered some of the worst in the nation when it comes to safety.
The city says the time to change that is now… and that “complete streets” will take care of the how.
The city says it’s a new way of thinking.
“In the past streets have only been designed for vehicles. move the vehicles quickly, move them quickly and the maximum number of vehicles and that’s all we thought about,” says Breene Harimoto, Honolulu City council.
Now it’s hoping to make things safer for pedestrians and bicyclists — by thinking outside the box… with “complete streets”
“We’re gonna build streets for all people, all uses, moving freight, moving cars, but now building place which will now bring the next round of appreciation of neighborhoods, places where people want to come to enjoy,” says Dan Burden, Walkable Communities.
The city says Ala Wai boulevard is just one example of a complete street.
It was improved in 2004 adding a new bike path that freed up the sidewalk for others to use.
The city hopes that one day, many more streets will look like this.
“We’re gonna start transforming our streets. You’re gonna see three demonstration projects very quickly to just demonstrate to people to see what they could be,” says Harimoto.
The $75 thousand pilot project includes Ulune street in Aiea, Kailua Road, and Beretania Street.
The city says this intersection at Beretania and Isenberg is simply too big. Their quick and easy fix would be to color the curb out into the road. That way it would hopefully slow drivers down and make crossing time a little bit less.
“I think it’s a very good idea– anything to cut down on this. The more awareness you have then you start paying attention more and colors, if you have things in colors, people are going to watch a little more,” says Rebecca Ryan, Honolulu resident.
All three projects are set to be completed by the end of the year.