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Mariah Danforth Moore, 19, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a crosswalk in 2011 near Hawaii Pacific University’s Windward Campus.
A month before she was killed, the Department of Transportation had installed pedestrian-activated lights to increase visibility.
A car crash six months ago took out the control system for the flashing lights and now students are seen dodging cars to get to class.
“Unfortunately, the parts for this is something we can only get on the mainland. We had to go through all the procedures and order it from the mainland and these things do take a little bit of time,” DOT spokesperson Caroline Sluyter said.
It’s precious time that Stephen Danforth knows all too well. His daughter would have turned 21 years old in two weeks.
“I find it very frustrating for the long process this is taking. One death is too many,” Danforth said.
Danforth, along with several other groups, donated just over $61,000 to HPU to the Mariah Memorial Fund that is supposed to improve the safety of that particular crosswalk.
So far, the only safety improvement HPU has done since raising the funds last year was purchased red flags that pedestrians could hold while using the crosswalk. Those have since been taken down.
“They were only there for a couple of days. We needed to get back to DOT and discuss with them the liability issues,” HPU Director of Public and Government Relations Sam Moku said.
HPU says they are running into roadblocks with the state because private funds are not being accepted to make public safety improvements.
Because of that, HPU does not yet have a plan on what that $60,000 will go towards.
The DOT could not confirm whether or not they are reconsidering installing a traffic signal at that crosswalk or reducing the speed limit on that stretch of the highway.
“The safety of our children shouldn’t come second to whatever the differences are between these different entities. They should get together, agree on something, put a plan in action for the safety of all our children,” Danforth said.
The DOT says the parts needed to fix the signal lights should arrive this month. They hope to have them back before school starts in the fall.