Crosswalks painted at certain areas
Thank you for covering all the information on marked crosswalks, but what about all the unmarked crosswalks? I've been trying to get the city to paint a crosswalk at the intersection of Hooli Circle and Kuahaka Street, which is 40-plus feet wide. But the city says there is no need to paint a crosswalk there because it's an unmarked crosswalk. But I was reading the law, and it says pedestrians have to be in the crosswalk to be safe, so, if there is no marked crosswalk, then we're unsafe. I've seen smaller intersections with marked crosswalks. FYI -- there have been a good many accidents at this intersection over the past years.
Answer: We asked the city Department of Transportation Services to explain how it determines when to mark a crossing.
Markings are "not installed indiscriminately," because past studies have shown that marked crosswalks tend to give pedestrians, especially children, a false sense of security, said Paul Won, chief of the department's Traffic Engineering Division. Some think "that the markings are a physical barrier which will shield them from oncoming vehicles."
Studies have shown that pedestrians tend to use more caution when using unmarked crossings at intersections, he said.
The city's current practice is to have painted crosswalks at locations that meet certain criteria.
The Department of Transportation Services will analyze traffic data such as accident history, traffic volume, pedestrian volume, type of crossing, speed limit, sight distance and illumination.
If all the criteria are met, then a marked crosswalk is installed, Won said.
Under the state traffic code, "a crosswalk is that part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway, or any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface."
In absence of a painted crosswalk, unmarked crosswalks exist at every intersection, except at those where crossings are prohibited due to safety concerns, Won said. In those cases, signs will be posted noting the prohibition.
The department has not completed its review of the situation at Hooli Circle and Kuahaka Street, Won said.
To the woman who parked illegally in a disabled stall at Ala Moana Center on Saturday, Nov. 5, and had the nerve to argue with a security guard about the wrongness of her inconsiderate act, which forced an elderly man carrying an oxygen container to stop several times in order to get into the mall. Stupidity and/or laziness is not considered enough of a handicap. People like you make me sick when I see those who are legally trying to use a stall not able to do so. Do like everyone else has to do and just park elsewhere. -- Tracy Clinger
See the Columnists
section for some past articles.
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. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org