Its roundabout time
The city hopes that the "islands"By Harold Morse
in the middle of intersections
will provide safety by
slowing down drivers
Get used to the Keeaumoku Street roundabout -- it's a sign of traffic to calm. Slowing down drivers, that is.
At Keeaumoku and Heulu streets, the city is doing its first experiment with a round, raised, landscaped island in the middle of the intersection. Drivers have to take their time moving around this "traffic calming" device in a counterclockwise direction.
A second roundabout is under construction in Salt Lake at Likini, Ala Lilikoi and Ala Ilima streets. It will be completed some time in March, city Transportation Director Cheryl Soon said.
She wants people from other communities to take a look at the almost-finished Keeaumoku roundabout. A roundabout might be good at other places, she said.
The city has put up signs to help drivers adjust to the Keeaumoku roundabout. The intersection was selected because residents said speeding drivers made it dangerous. It's bordered by the Playmate Kindergarten, Day Care Center and Grade School; Christ United Methodist Church; an apartment building; and a house.
Some finishing touches are being made to the roundabout, said Carol Costa, spokeswoman for Mayor Jeremy Harris. Once the final touches are done -- such as painting in crosswalk stripes -- there will be a grand opening celebration, maybe as early as Saturday, she said.
The roundabout was designed to make the roadway narrow enough to slow traffic, as drivers angle and turn to get around it. The roadway is wide enough to allow fire trucks, buses, garbage trucks and other large vehicles.
"What a beautiful job they did," said Capt. Ed Hunter of the Makiki Fire Station. "We go right through it. It has slowed us down a little bit due to the tightness of the intersection, but they purposely made it structurally strong enough for us to drive over it."
A roundabout has an apron surrounding the center island that gently goes up about 21/2 inches and which emergency vehicles can cut across.
A "bulb-out," a different kind of traffic-calming device, is in place in Kaimuki. To slow traffic, the city widened an already wide curb on Koko Head Avenue, thus narrowing the lanes.
Because of it, a fire department 56-foot ladder truck no longer makes a left turn at the intersection of Koko Head and 12th avenues from the nearby fire station. It was impossible for the long fire truck to make the sharp turn without going into the oncoming lane, and an alternate route is being used that's longer and slows response time.
But some nearby residents like the slowing of traffic there, and the fire department has signed-off on it after further deliberation, Soon said.
She asks that residents not see a traffic calming device as controversial "but to understand them in the context that the community was desperate to have people slow down."
Roadwork planned this week throughout Oahu:
LEEWARD OAHUEwa Beach
Fort Weaver Road from Farrington Highway to Hanakahi Street; and Farrington Highway from Piliokoe Bridge to Kahe Power Plant in the vicinity of Tracks Beach Park.
Hakalina Road from Pahihi to Puhawai roads.
Vicinity of Kunia Interchange to Waikele Stream Bridge and from Kupuna Loop to Farrington Highway; Kunia and Fort Weaver roads; H-1 Freeway Ramps 5 and 5B and all other ramps in Kunia Interchange; and H-1 Freeway in the vicinity of Kunia Interchange.
Kilani Avenue from Holoku Place to Ilima Street; and Mala and Ilima streets.
Mililani Interchange and Lanikuhana Avenue.
Farrington Highway, Leoole to Awanui streets; and Paiwa to Leoku streets.
Waipahu Street from Amokii Street to Waikele Road.
Moanalua Road from Punanani Channel to Pali Momi Street; Kaonohi Street between Alania and Kahapili streets; Kahapili Street between Kaonohi and Kaonohi streets; Maohu and Heleconia places; and Akaaka, Ilee, Kulawai and Kaamilo streets.
Komo Mai Drive from Waimano Home Road to Hookupa Street.
Halupa Street from Haloa Drive to Punihi Street.
H-3 from Halawa Valley to Tunnel.
Ala Ilima and Likini streets.
Makuahine and Kalihi streets; Dillingham Boulevard between Waiakamilo Road and North King Street; Kamanaiki Street from Violet to Laulani streets; and Kapalama, School, Moani, Laulani, Puolani, Pahulu and Noe streets.
Huli Street; and Vineyard Boulevard at Nuuanu Avenue.
Kimo Drive Bridge; Kaohinani Drive from Kimo to Pelekane drives; Kahawalu Drive between Kaohinani and Niolopua drives; Kahawalu Drive; Ragsdale and Homelani places; Pali Highway at Waokanaka Street; Waokanaka Street to the Pali tunnel entrance; Pali Highway from Country Club Road to the tunnel entrance, including both roads to the lookout; Dowsett Avenue; Waokanaka Street; and Old Pali Road.
King, River and Bethel streets.
Kapiolani Boulevard; Keawe Street on Ala Moana, South and Queen streets, and Nimitz Highway and River Street to end at Hotel Street; and Coral Street from Ala Moana to Auahi Street.
Harding Avenue from Kapiolani Boulevard to 1st Avenue; and Kapiolani Interchange.
Kahoaloha Lane from Kuilei Lane to South King Street; and Kuulei Street from Kahoaloha Lane to University Avenue.
Harding Avenue between 12th and Koko Head, 6th and Kaimuki avenues.
Aha Nui Place; Ainakoa Avenue; Malia and Makaikoa streets; and H-1 Freeway, Koko Head to 21st avenues.
Ala Wai Boulevard between Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue; Ala Wai Promenade; Kalakaua Avenue and McCully Street between Ala Wai and Kapiolani boulevards; and Kalakaua Avenue from Kaiulani to Kapahulu avenues.
Maunahilu, Pakolu and Pili places; and Paula Drive between Maunahilu Place and Iwi Way.
Kamehameha Highway from Mahe Point to Lau Place.
Ahuimanu Road; and Kialua, Hoopai and Poomau streets.
Keala, Kawaipapa and Puuowaa roads; Waikulama Street; and Kamehameha Highway from Pipilani to Kaupau places.
Kalanianaole Highway, Makapuu Lookout to Kealahou Street; Kamehameha Highway to Kapaa Quarry Road; Ililani Street from Mokapu Boulevard to Iliwahi Loop; Iliwahi Loop from Ilimano to Ilimano streets; Iliaina Street from Ililani Street to Iliwahi Loop and from Ilihau Street to end Ilikaa Place; Kalaheo Avenue between Wilikoki Place and Kaiholu Place and on Aumoe Street; Kalanianaole Highway to Kawainui Bridge; Alahaki and Akupa streets; Akupa and Nanaloko places; Kina, Liku, Loho streets and Keolu Drive.
Kaaiai Street from Huli to Nakini streets; and Kumuhau Street from Waikupanaha to Mahailua streets.
EAST OAHUKalani Valley
Kalaniiki Street and Kalanikai Place.
Kalanianaole Highway from Nawiliwili Street to Sandy Beach Park Entrance; and from Hanauma Bay to Sandy Beach.
OtherChinese Lantern Parade
5:30 p.m. Saturday starting from the state Capitol grounds at Richards Street via Hotel, River and Beretania streets to Aala Park.
Sections of streets from Nuuanu Stream to and including Smith Street and Nimitz Highway to and including Beretania Street will be briefly closed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday for lion dances.