Give pedestrians complete right-of-way
Maybe pedestrians should have their own traffic signal during which all traffic stops and no right turns are permitted. Crossing then would be allowed in all directions.
The city can do pilot projects at the most troubled intersections. Fines should be tripled or quadrupled for both offending drivers and pedestrians; then maybe people will care. Where has all the aloha gone?
Crosswalk law confuses motorists, pedestrians
In tips for motorists, the Star-Bulletin advised on March 7
that motorists "stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is approaching from the opposite half of the roadway and is close enough to be in danger." In the past, the law stated that motorists must stop when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.
Is it any wonder that motorists -- and pedestrians -- are confused? Why should a motorist need to determine if someone in the crosswalk is in danger? If someone is in the crosswalk, he or she is in danger if a motorist gets to decide whether to stop. Please, let's stop complicating this issue.
Light adjustments would improve safety
I support, the stepped up enforcement against drivers and pedestrians who disregard the crosswalk rules. However, city traffic engineers really need to improve the walk signals at intersections. Have you noticed how short the green signal is? It is maybe 5 seconds long on many intersections before the red, don't-cross signal comes up, thus not giving adequate time for pedestrians. A great example of a ridiculous signal sequence is at McCully and Ala Wai, at the bridge leading into Waikiki. Pedestrians have to cross two adjoining streets, but as soon as one enters the first section the other section is already flashing red, while the car traffic light is still far from changing over. This is but a single example of very poor traffic light and signal sequencing that is frustrating to motorists and pedestrians alike. Why don't they go around and actually look at some of these situations, especially in town. They might actually learn something.
Rail might be no go for tourists with bags
In all the discussion about whether the rail line should go through Salt Lake or the airport I have never seen the "baggage" issue discussed. I believe that the bus system does not allow passengers to bring on board large bags. If that same rule is going to apply on the train what does it matter whether the route is to the airport, which has a significant number of employees, or Salt Lake, which has an even larger number of residents? If passengers going to the airport cannot bring large bags on board, they can't use the rail anyway.
I have traveled in Europe and used their mass transit systems to go to the airport. Baggage was no problem. In Zurich, Switzerland, I traveled on a heavy rail train that went right into the airport terminal with me and my baggage.
James V. Pollock
Tourists' satisfaction sag is no surprise
A recent survey found that tourism satisfaction is down ("Visitors feel less satisfied, study funds,"
March 2). Why is that a surprise? If I were a tourist coming here for the first time I wouldn't be satisfied either. Why? Because Hawaii, especially Honolulu, has lost its "paradise" appeal.
When I came here in 1991 there were open spaces, mom-and-pop stores and restaurants that served great food at good prices, pineapple and sugar cane fields, not so many houses, way less traffic and much more aloha.
Now, what do you see? Just look around. There has been too much development; the local stores and restaurants have closed or are closing; there's way too much traffic; and aloha is just a word that people use.
Now, Honolulu is just another city with too much development that a crumbling infrastructure (horrible roads, ancient sewers, antiquated power production) cannot support. There's also too much crime, homelessness, druggies begging for money, graffiti, bad drivers, an inept government and too little emphasis on quality education.
And it's way too expensive -- to visit or live here. The hotels say tourism is down so raise the daily room rate to keep profits margin up. Wrong answer! How about giving people a break for a change. Give people incentives to come here. If not, they will go somewhere else where they can get more for their hard-earned money.
Next, stop or slow down development. How many houses, discount stores and big-box retailers can this economy handle? When tourists come here they want to see something Hawaiian -- not something that says Anytown USA. For the folks who live here it's a losing battle with constant price and tax increases with so very little to show for it.
The people of Hawaii need to stand back and look at what they've created and decide if they can retrieve Hawaii before it's completely lost. And the local folks need to ensure that their children learn not only reading, writing and arithmetic, but also that for this state to survive it must learn that aloha is not just another word, it is a philosophy, a way of life that means caring for others as one cares for themselves.
Larry M. Fryer
Bush bears the fault for hospital scandal
I don't care what your political position is on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the poor treatment of our injured Marines and soldiers shows how morally bankrupt this administration is at its core.
President Bush said recently that this treatment is "unacceptable;" unfortunately this treatment had been acceptable to him until it was exposed.
Should we have expected anything different? False intelligence about the threat Iraq posed got us there, zero post invasion plan, Abu Ghraib, vehicle up-armor shortage and, at home, Hurricane Katrina.
What we owe to the Marines and soldiers who serve in these wars will be honored only as long as we give them the best treatment both in-theater and when they come home. Until then our commander in chief is responsible.
Don't leave children unattended near cars
The report of a fatal driveway accident ("Reversing SUV kills girl, 2, injures boy, 4,"
March 7) reminds us of the importance of never leaving a child alone around a car. Unfortunately, 2-year-old Teysia Aku lost her life, and the sad reality is that tragedies like this are preventable.
As founders of Kids In Cars (www.kidsincars.org), we are advocates of safety measures to keep kids safe in and around cars. It is difficult for drivers to see small children when they back up, but the foolproof way to prevent these types of injuries and deaths is to never leave children unattended in or near vehicles.
Other tips for parents and caregivers are to teach children to never play around cars and always check around the vehicle before the car is started.
Our message bears repeating: Do not leave children alone in or around vehicles. Not even for a minute.
Terrill and Michele Struttmann
Directors, Kids In Cars