Monday, March 29, 1999

Waianae looks to
improve, enforce
traffic safety

One question is whether a
new artery is favored to relieve
traffic on Farrington Highway

By Harold Morse


Too many serious accidents in Waianae have led citizens to form a task force to seek safety improvements there, especially for pedestrians.

The Waianae Coast Traffic Safety Task Force is passing out copies of a questionnaire to survey residents on these concerns, and hopes to come up with some solutions.

One of the questions is whether a new highway is favored to relieve traffic on Farrington Highway. The questionnaire also asks residents to list all traffic safety concerns they would like considered.

About a dozen Waianae people attended a recent task force organizing meeting, where among the topics raised was police enforcement of speed limits.

"We have to make it (speed limit enforcement) hurt people," said Cynthia Rezentes, chairwoman of the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board. "I'm all for making it hurt financially."

People who live where speed limits are strictly enforced know they have to slow down or take the consequences, she said.

She also advocated stoplights synchronized with speed limits.

Task Force Chairman Charles Herrmann said some Waianae traffic lights don't respond to devices emergency vehicles use to change lights from red to green, allowing them to pass through intersections.

The Dec. 14 death of 10-year-old Jerry Kekahuna led to the creation of the task force.

Kekahuna was struck in a Farrington Highway crosswalk near Waianae Intermediate School by a speeding pickup that ran a red light, police said. The driver was arrested and released pending further investigation.

Now police, the city Department of Transportation Services, the state Highways Division and residents are working together in the hope of preventing needless traffic deaths.

Herrmann said an informational video on traffic safety has been prepared to show at community gatherings to help the task force reach its goals.

Residents may call 668-9824 to make known their ideas on traffic safety by voice or fax, he said.

E-mail to City Desk

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