Kahala project aims toBy Harold Morse
slow, separate traffic
City officials hope to put the brakes on the Kealaolu Avenue speedway, a former quiet residential street in Kahala.
They hope widening and other construction will reduce the dangers on this 0.7-mile link between Kahala Avenue and Kalanianaole Highway -- where tourists zip by toward Hanauma Bay and hotel delivery and garbage trucks rumble past.
Police say there were seven accidents on Kealaolu Avenue in 1998 and four in 1997, including the death of a teen, a passenger in a speeding sports utility vehicle that flipped near Moho Street and Kealaolu.
Transportation Director Cheryl Soon says that widening the road will separate joggers, pedestrians and bicyclists and motor vehicles.
"It prevents the mix of the slow-moving, pedestrian-type people from the automobiles and buses and the trucks that go along there -- provides the special areas to put them in," Soon said.
Right now, corners there are rounded, and this allows cars to make turns too fast, the transportation director said. Corners will be squared to slow up motorists making turns.
City Councilman Duke Bainum said the entire project may come in as low as $170,000.
"It represents a great compromise reached by the residents, bicyclists and especially the mayor," Bainum said. "It shows that bicyclists and residential communities can work together to enhance the safety of all citizens."
Some residents remain skeptical.
Making the street wider won't slow traffic, said Andy Butler, a Kealaolu Avenue resident since 1978.
The widened street will inconvenience some residents on the Koko Head side, who will have less room to get in and out of their garages or carports, he added.
"I think that people are just rather resigned to what's going on because they fought the good battle and lost, and they resigned themselves to a bike lane on one side of the street -- and that's what's happening."
The end result will just be more traffic, Butler said.
Khalil Spencer, president of Hawaii Bicycling League, said it's a widening of the roadway by four feet, adding a strip on the shoulder of the mauka-bound lane going toward Kalanianaole Highway.
A stripe will separate the shoulder from the travel lane or motorist lane, he said.
"It's good for bicyclists," Spencer added. "I think it's good for anyone who uses that road. . . .
"It's good for motorists, too, because there's now going to be room for both of us."
Beware of road repairsRoadwork planned this week throughout Oahu:
LEEWARD OAHUKunia: Kunia and Fort Weaver roads near the Kunia Interchange; Kupuna Loop to Honowai Street; and the H-1 Freeway ramps 5, 5A and 5B.
Honokai Hale: Laaloa and Paakai streets.
Nanakuli: Farrington Highway from Piliokoe Bridge to vicinity of Aliinui Drive.
Maili: Ehu, Hakeakea and Waapuhi streets.
Waianae: Kaukamana Street to St. John's Road; Farrington Highway at Maliona Street; and Kulaaupuni Street from Ohiohi Place to Kaukamana Street.
Makaha: Maiuu and Mahinaau roads.
NORTH OAHUHaleiwa: Kamehameha Highway at Haleiwa Bypass Road; and Helemano-Waialua Junction to Haleiwa Beach Park.
CENTRAL OAHUMililani: Mililani Interchange; Ka Uka Boulevard to Lanikuhana Avenue, near Kipapa Gulch; and Kamehameha Highway from Kipapa Gulch toward Mililani.
Waipahu: Kahuamoku Place; Farrington Highway from Leoole to Awanui streets, Awanui and Leoku to Paiwa streets, and Awanui Street to Waipio Point Access.
Waiawa: Waipahu Street to Waiawa Road; Waiawa Interchange; Kamehameha Highway from Acacia Road to Honomanu Street; Kipou Street from Hulahe to Honowai streets; Honowai Street from Kipou to Hoaeae streets; and Hoaeae Street from Honowai Street to near the Hoaeae Pumping Station.
Waimalu: H-1, Waimalu Viaduct to Halawa Interchange.
HONOLULUMoanalua: Moanalua Freeway from Ala Kapuna to Ala Napunani.
Salt Lake: Salt Lake Boulevard.
Kalihi: Likelike Highway from Valley View Drive to H-1, School Street to Makuahine exit, and Makuahine exit to Fernandez Street; School Street from Jikoen Mission to Kapalama Elementary; Gulick Avenue; and Makuahine and School streets.
Liliha: Liliha Street from North King Street to Vineyard Boulevard.
Nuuanu: Pali Highway from Country Club Road to the tunnel entrance, including both roads to the Pali lookout; Dowsett Avenue to Pali Tunnel; Waokanaka Street to Nuuanu Pali Drive; Kaohinani Drive from Kimo Drive to Pelekane Drive; Kahawalu Drive between Kaohinani Drive and Niolopua Drive; and Kimo Drive Bridge and the Old Pali Road.
Kakaako: Keawe Street on Ala Moana, South and Queen streets, and Nimitz Highway; and River Street to end at Hotel Street.
Pauoa: Star Road from Kanealii Avenue to end.
Makiki: Lewalani Drive from Clio Street to Wilder Avenue.
Moiliili: University Avenue and South King Street intersection.
Manoa: University Avenue between Maile Way and Coyne Street and at East Manoa Road.
St. Louis Heights: St. Louis Drive between Bertram and Oswald streets.
Palolo: Keanu Street between 8th Avenue and Sierra Drive; and 9th and 10th avenues between Keanu Street and Waialae Avenue.
Waialae: Kealaolu Avenue from Leahala to Waialae avenues.
Kaimuki: Sierra Drive; and 5th Avenue between Harding and Waialae avenues.
Waikiki: Kalakaua Avenue; Ohua to Kuhio avenues; and Kaiulani Triangle Minipark at intersection of Kuhio and Kaiulani avenues.
WINDWARD OAHUKaneohe: Area near 44-390 Kaneohe Bay Drive.
Kailua: Hamakua Drive near Hahani Street; and Ilimano Street between Ilihau and Ililani streets.
Waimanalo: Flamingo Street; Ahiki Street.
EAST OAHUHawaii Kai: Kalanianaole Highway from Hanauma Bay to Sandy Beach; and Lunalilo Home Road to Kealahou Street.