City unveils accessibility features in Complete Streets project

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Councilmember Breene Harimoto and representatives from Dept. of Transportation and Emergency Services gather with community members on Ulune St. on March 21, 2014.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Councilmember Breene Harimoto and representatives from Dept. of Transportation and Emergency Services gather with community members on Ulune St. on March 21, 2014.

The city unveiled a new transportation project Friday designed to encourage full accessibility on public streets.

The Complete Streets Demonstration Project on Ulune St., near Aiea High School, features engineered traffic calming devices, in-street pedestrian crossing signs, a shoulder/parking lane, and Oahu’s first back-in angle parking.

The project, a joint initiative between the Honolulu mayor’s office and Honolulu City Council, is meant to ensure public streets take into account the needs of all travelers, regardless of age, ability or mode of transportation.

In-street pedestrian crossing signs installed on median islands are meant to remind road users of laws regarding pedestrian right-of-ways at crosswalks without signals, as well as provide a refuge area for pedestrians crossing multiple lanes of traffic, according to the city.

The city also says the creation of shoulder/parking lanes narrows Ulune St. and provides a traffic calming effect by lowering travel speeds and increasing viewing angles for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists will also benefit from back-in angle parking, where the threat of being struck by a car door while cycling is eliminated.

Officials say back-in angle parking also increases visibility when entering a travel lane, is a simpler maneuver than parallel parking, allows most cargo loading to be done along the curb, and guides car occupants, including children, to safe areas beyond the curb after exiting vehicles.

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