Streetlights on during day for testing
I was traveling from town to Mililani about 11 a.m. Monday, April 28, and got off (at) the Waipahu offramp. Right where the offramp connects with Kamehameha Highway, there were dozens of overhead lights blazing midday. Obviously, there was something wrong. I'd like to know what state Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa has to say about that.
Answer: There was nothing wrong -- it was just part of routine testing, Ishikawa told us Friday, his last day on the job with the department.
He said he also saw the lights on that day.
Maintenance crews sometimes turn the lights on along a stretch of roadway during the day to check for burnt-out bulbs, replacing as needed. "It wasn't a malfunction," Ishikawa said.
Normally, sensors trigger when the highway lights go on and off -- as darkness falls at night and as the sun comes up in the morning, he said.
Q: The crosswalk and traffic signals are being modified at the intersection of Valkenburgh Street and Nimitz Highway. While the "new" system is still in flux, drivers are confused and our students who take the city bus to school (as well as elderly, slow-moving or other young folk) are being honked at and have close shaves with drivers operating under the old mind-set. The crosswalk has been moved to the Ewa side of the intersection. Part of the problem is that the traffic light for drivers is a little distance away from the crosswalk sign. Hence, drivers are paying more attention to the traffic light, looking for cars so they can turn right and merge with traffic, and not looking for pedestrians, and the crosswalk sign isn't real obvious. When drivers see pedestrians crossing, they are honking because they think people are jaywalking. This project began months ago and there was no heads-up from the Department of Transportation. There are three schools and a church in the area and this is a very big concern. Can't something be done to make it safer for pedestrians?
A: By now, it should be a bit safer for pedestrians, after the contractor installed wooden handrails and re-striped the temporary crosswalk to facilitate crossing.
The state Transportation Department issued a permit for work at that intersection, but it's actually a Navy project to add an additional lane on Valkenburgh, then-spokesman Scott Ishikawa told us last week.
Adding the lane was part of an agreement the Navy made when it built an exchange and commissary nearby, he said.
The project entailed relocating the crosswalk from the Diamond Head side of the intersection to "the other side," giving workers space to construct the new lane, Ishikawa explained.
He said the department did meet with you and the contractor, after receiving your complaint, to discuss the concerns.
Once the project is completed, the crosswalk will be restored to its original location, Ishikawa said.
The targeted completion date is July or August, he said.
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