Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Crosswalks all
will have zebra
stripes eventually

Question: Can you explain why some crosswalks have white "zebra stripes" while others merely have two parallel white lines? Is one type of crossing supposed to be safer for pedestrians?

Answer: The "zebra stripes" are the "federal standard international type of striping" for crosswalks, according to Cheryl Soon, director of the city Department of Transportation Services.

They are considered safer for pedestrians because they increase the crosswalk's visibility.

The city began converting to the longitudinal zebra stripes in 1992. The city plans to eventually replace all the standard crosswalk markings -- the ones with two parallel lines -- with the zebra stripes.

However, because of budget constraints, it's not possible to restripe the thousands of crosswalks all at once, Soon said. They are restriped mainly as part of ongoing resurfacing projects.

However, school areas are given priority consideration, Soon said.

"In these areas, the international type markings are being installed on a case-by-case basis in addition to the city's roadway resurfacing program."

Q: Does anyone remember the name of the fast-food drive-in that was on South King Street circa 1970 across from Straub Hospital? It was next to the graveyard. I think it later became a Korean food place, then a car accessory store. There was also a carwash. It's driving us crazy.

A: We decided to check with Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman Fred Kobashikawa, figuring Heco employees could remember the name since the company's Ward Avenue offices are nearby.

Sure enough, they came up with the answer. Around the 1970s and for awhile after that, according to long-time employees, the drive-in was known as Meatie's, Kobashikawa said.

Before that, they recall it was called Ralph's and after that Kitty's.

In those early years, Kobashikawa himself remembers Meaties was "definitely the place I used to go to" for such favorites as spareribs or "hamburger with lots of gravy over the rice."

"It was like Chunky's (drive-in)," he said, recalling another favorite plate-lunch dive, at the corner of Isenberg and King streets. Chunky's, too, has gone to that fast-food graveyard in the sky.

If anyone else has more definitive information, please call Kokua Line at 529-4773 and let us know.


To Gary (last name unknown) and his wife for staying with me and making sure I was all right until help arrived after I fainted on the Fort Street Mall on Wednesday morning, Feb. 28. Special thanks to the Honolulu Fire Department for a speedy response, ambulance drivers Frank and his partner (see you at Starbucks!) and the Straub emergency staff or patiently waiting for me to do the "deed." Finally, mahalo to Mom and Dad, since you'll be paying for most of my big adventure (love you guys). -- Rehydrated Party Girl.

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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