Monday, February 22, 1999

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Members of the Nuuanu Congregational Church are
among those who would like to see a traffic light or
some other control to stop vehicles from speeding
by on the Pali Highway.

Speeding motorists
on the Pali worry

By Harold Morse


Church members and residents say hazards are created by motorists speeding along a portion of Pali Highway between the Nuuanu Congregational and First Unitarian churches.

Some want at least one traffic light in that stretch, about a fifth of a mile long. The issue will be aired at the Unitarian church at 7 p.m. tomorrow. A similar meeting Feb. 3 at Nuuanu Congregational Church drew about 200 people.

Faith Action for Community Equity, or FACE, the sponsor of both meetings, is pushing for a traffic light.

"Pedestrians and motorists alike have seen, heard and experienced one too many accidents already -- and fear for their lives and loved ones," the group said. "Parents with children, the elderly and handicapped, bus riders, daily commuters and area residents are speaking out to convey this 'life and death' issue to public officials."

"Basically, everybody's looking at traffic lights," said state Sen. Rod Tam. One light at Jack Lane between the two churches may be a possibility, he said.

"It has to service the overall, general community, residents and also churches," Tam said.

"We are looking into some traffic signals in that area," said state Transportation Department spokeswoman Marilyn Kali. "We'll be doing some studies. We don't have any details at this point, and it will probably take several months before the studies are completed."

FACE member units include the Unitarian church at 2500 Pali Highway, on the Ewa side of the highway, and the Congregational church at 2651 Pali Highway, on the Koko Head side and farther mauka.

Parents and children affiliated with Children's Center Inc., an early childhood education program on the Congregational church grounds, also are concerned, said FACE, an islandwide, interfaith community organization.

FACE chairwoman Dorothy Pregil said an accident occurred on Jan. 12, when the sister of Nuuanu Congregational Church's youth director was picking her up after work, Pregil said. She said the sister was turning left onto church property from town-bound lanes when she collided with a Kailua-bound vehicle.

"Both cars were totally demolished," Pregil said, adding that although no serious injuries occured, safety concerns remain and unsafe conditions cause anxiety.

"We need to have something done, and we need to do it immediately," she said.

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