Faulty traffic light causes problems for senior citizens downtown

Sundays are slow in downtown Honolulu at the intersection of Fort Street and Hotel Street. It’s probably the site with some of the most pedestrian traffic you will see. We had a news tip about a traffic light that was malfunctioning, which can be problematic for our senior population.

“Thirty six, thirty five, thirty four, thirty two, oh – thirty nothing. Thirty nothing. That means you can’t cross any more, doesn’t it?” visitor Pat Davis said.

Even on a Sunday, downtown Honolulu is crowded with seniors and others – taking care of errands or just getting exercise. Bus drivers have their jobs to do – being on time and picking up passengers. Again, even on a Sunday – both pedestrians and drivers must be aware – especially if a pedestrian signal is not operating properly.

“Oh, that’s naughty. Especially if you’re old and disabled. That’s very naughty.” Davis said.

The signal goes through several cycles – sometimes dropping from 32 seconds to zero time – - other times going from a walk to a stop in the wink of an eye. All the more reason for pedestrians to pay attention.

“First of all, I think we should educate the public about when not to walk. And as I understand, as soon as you see the numbers – that’s when you should not walk.” Downtown resident Fred White said.

White is especially concerned about the Hotel Street bus routes – not just on a sleepy Sunday, but any day when drivers are trying to make their schedules.

“And they may not be able to stop for somebody who’s walking across the street.” White said.

The glitch in this particular traffic signal may not be common. But it is a clear warning that pedestrians, bus drivers and motorists have to pay special attention every day – not just Sunday.

“No time at all this time. They really are up the creek, aren’t they? Up the creek without a paddle.” Davis said.

KHON2 reported on a similar problem several months ago at University and Date Street. A follow up will be done tomorrow to make certain the Fort Street signal problem is fixed.

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