City plans changes to make Liliha intersection safer

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The city announced it’s planning to make a couple of changes to an intersection, where a woman and her dogs were hit by an SUV several months ago.

The city presented its plan to the Liliha Neighborhood Board Monday night, which includes two basic changes that’ll help warn drivers that a crosswalk is coming up.

On May 31, Leslie Chan was hit by an SUV while walking her dogs at the intersection of Liliha Street and Ekekela Place.

Witnesses said a car heading down Liliha Street had stopped to let Chan go. She was more than half way across the crosswalk, when an SUV heading up Liliha Street hit her.

Chan is still recovering from her injuries, but her two dogs died in the accident.

Honolulu police said visibility was a factor in the crash.

The Liliha Neighborhood Board has since asked the city to make this area safer, and the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) has come up with a plan.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a direct response to the accident. But of course coming to a Neighborhood Board, where you have passionate constituents concerned about areas, prompted us to look at this street,” DTS Deputy Director Mark Garrity said.

What they found is that visibility is an issue, mainly at night.

“I think there was some concern about drivers being blinded by the headlights of oncoming cars and not being able to see people,” Garrity said.

They’ve come up with a plan that includes painting the words “PED X-ING” on Liliha Street near Ekekela Place.

“And this will be put in both directions coming up the hill and down,” Garrity said.

They’ll also be taking down the crossing signs and will be replacing them with brighter fluorescent ones.

“At this point, we’re not proposing to put a signal in or any major changes like that,” Garrity said. “But this was a change we knew we could make fairly quickly.”

The city plans to change out the signs and add the new paint on the street within the next three months.

“We think this is a good short-term change that will create a safer situation, and we’ll continue to monitor it and see how it goes,” Garrity said.

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