Malfunctioning traffic signal poses safety threat to pedestrians

A malfunctioning traffic signal on University Avenue is causing confusion and concern.

Area residents fear an accident is inevitable.

“I swear once a month we hear screech, boom!” University Avenue resident Mele Matsushima said.

Matsushima has the perfect view of what some consider the perfect storm for disaster.

“Every day there’s somebody honking, somebody screeching to a halt,” Matsushima said.

A malfunctioning traffic signal on the corner of University Avenue and Date Street has people confused.

“It starts around 47 and then it counts down to about 35 or 32. And then instantly, it goes to zero and the red hand,” Matsushima said.

The countdown is on the fritz.

“Thirty-six, 35, 34, 33, 32, and zero,” Matsushima said.

She’s worried someone may soon get hurt.

“The demographic here, there are so many like kupuna. It’s just something that I think really needs to be fixed. And my children cross the street as well and they’re going to look at the hand, you know, the countdown as well,” Matsushima said.

But it’s not just kupuna.

“It prompts you for when it’s safe to cross the road,” pedestrian Kristen Keough said.

On Tuesday, a group of unsuspecting friends made their way across the four lanes, thinking they had more than enough time to cross.

That was not the case.

Keough immediately thought about the elderly who live in the neighborhood.

“Older individuals, I mean, a lot of them have mobility issues. They might have a walker or wheelchair or they just have difficulty walking,” Keough said.

The false countdown even gave her a false sense of security.

“It’s the same thing if we were half way through the intersection and it just jumped to zero. We’d have to run,” Keough said.

They have a message for the city.

“They need to fix it absolutely,” Keough said.

“For the safety of all of the pedestrians, which is a huge thing now, and it should be fixed,” Matsushima said. “Before someone gets hurt.”

According to Department of Transportation Services Director Mike Formby, a crew responded at 8 p.m. Tuesday and fixed the malfunctioning signal.

To report a malfunctioning traffic signal, please call (808) 768-8387.

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