Monday, November 1, 1999


By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
Drivers negotiate the newly configured intersection at Koko Head
and 12th avenues. The curb at left was extended. City officials say
it was a traffic calming measure, but some area
residents are unhappy with it.

Area traffic
slowed, but at
what cost?

The city's curb widening
at a Koko Head Avenue
intersection brings beefs


By Leila Fujimori


Fire Capt. Clyde Sasaki no longer makes the left turn at the Koko Head and 12th Avenue intersection with his 56-foot ladder truck.

After the city widened an already wide curb on Koko Head Avenue, thus narrowing the lanes, Sasaki found it impossible to make the sharp turn without going into the oncoming lane.

Instead, he is forced to take an alternate route that is a block and a half farther from the fire station on Koko Head. And that worries Sasaki because it slows his response time.

The reconfiguration is one of the city's latest traffic-calming projects to slow down drivers, explained Cheryl Soon, director of the city Department of Transportation Services.

Art Residents were puzzled by the reconfiguration, which removed the gradual curve that allowed drivers to easily turn from 12th Avenue onto Koko Head and vice versa.

Drivers now must make a 90-degree turn. Nearby resident Eileen Macabeo said when she turns right onto Koko Head from 12th, she is afraid she might collide head-on with a car turning left in the opposite direction.

"They're actually coming into my lane," Macabeo said.

Soon acknowledged that area traffic is heavy with students who attend Kapiolani Community College and mall shoppers who cut through Kaimuki neighborhoods. But a traffic light is not the answer at every corner, she said.

"As for slowing down traffic, I think it's good," said Georgia Lee, who lives on 12th Avenue across the intersection.

"Cars coming down the hill on 12th Avenue need to slow down to make that curve," she added.

Drivers now are not the only ones who need to exercise caution.

Ever since the road was reconfigured, Alvina Kono fears taking the sidewalk around the corner from her street, Crater Road, to Koko Head.

"I don't want to take a chance; cars come so close," Kono said.

She walks her granddaughter home from school every day along Koko Head and 12th avenues.

But now the sidewalk from Crater to Koko Head is closer to the edge of busy 12th Avenue. Cars can easily hop the curb, which is, in places, level with the street surface. Soon said the curb height was deliberately low to allow people to cross the street with ease.

Another pedestrian called the intersection treacherous because three streets -- Koko Head, Crater Road and Kaimuki Avenue -- intersect with 12th Avenue at nearly the same point.

"I think they should put a traffic light in," said David Goto, a KCC student who walks to visit his grandfather on 12th Avenue.

"I see a lot of pedestrians crossing the street, and people that come out of Koko Head don't look."

The city automatically returns to the site three months after completion of a project. Soon said with this project, however, that may be sooner.

Three people on her staff who live in Kaimuki are monitoring the project themselves.

"We will make adjustments based on working with the community," Soon added.



Roadwork planned this week throughout Oahu:


Ewa Beach
Fort Weaver Road from Farrington Highway to Hanakahi Street.

Waapuhi Street.


Haleiwa Bypass Road; and Kamehameha Highway from Helemano-Waialua Junction to Haleiwa Beach Park.


Vicinity of Kunia Interchange, Kupuna Loop to Farrington Highway; Kunia and Fort Weaver roads; H-1 Freeway ramps 5 and 5B and all other ramps in Kunia Interchange; and H-1 Freeway in the vicinity of Kunia Interchange, Makakilo-bound lanes.

Kilani Avenue from Holoku Place to Ilima Street; and Mala and Ilima streets.

Mililani Interchange; and Lanikuhana Avenue.

Farrington Highway, Leoole to Awanui streets; and Paiwa to Leoku streets.

Kipou Street from Hulahe to Honowai streets; Honowai Street from Kipou to Hoaeae streets; Hoaeae Street from Honowai Street to near the Hoaeae Pumping Station.

Heleconia Place; Moanalua Road from Punanani Channel to Pali Momi Street; Maohu Place; and Akaaka, Ilee, Kulawai and Kaamilo streets.

Pearl City
Komo Mai Drive from Waimano Home Road to Hookupa Street.


Makuahine and Kalihi streets; Dillingham Boulevard between Waiakamilo Road and North King Street; Kamanaiki Street from Violet to Laulani streets; and Kapalama, School, Moani, Laulani, Puolani, Noe, North School and Pahulu streets.

Liliha Street from North King Street to Vineyard Boulevard.

Kimo Drive Bridge; Kaohinani Drive from Kimo to Pelekane drives; Kahawalu Drive between Kaohinani and Niolopua drives; Kahawalu Drive; Ragsdale and Homelani places; and Old Pali Road.

Keawe Street on Ala Moana, South and Queen streets, and Nimitz Highway and River Street to end at Hotel Street; and Coral Street from Ala Moana to Auahi Street.

Harding Avenue between Kapahulu Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard; Kapiolani Interchange; Kapahulu Avenue between Kaimuki and Waialae avenues; and H-1 eastbound off-ramp to King Street.

Keeaumoku and Heulu streets; and Piikoi at Mott-Smith and Lewalani drives.


McCully Street.

Kuulei Street from Kahoaloha Lane to University Avenue; and Kahoaloha Lane from Kuilei Lane to South King Street.

Spreckels Street.

Keanu Street between 8th Avenue and Sierra Drive; and 9th and 10th avenues between Keanu Street and Waialae Avenue.

Aha Nui Place; Ainakoa Avenue; Malia and Makaikoa streets; H-1 Freeway 11th Avenue off-ramp; H-1 from 13th to 9th avenues; intersection of 12th and Koko Head avenues; and H-1 on-ramps at 5th and 11th avenues and off-ramps at 6th, Koko Head and Waialae avenues.

Diamond Head
Diamond Head Road and Monsarrat Avenue.

Ala Wai Boulevard between Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue; and Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues.

Wihelmina Rise
Maunahilu, Pakolu and Pili places; and Paula Drive between Maunahilu Place and Iwi Way.


Kamehameha Highway from Mahe Point to Lau Place.

Ahuimanu Road; and Kialua, Hoopai and Poomau streets.

Keala, Kawaipapa and Puuowaa roads; and Waikulama Street.

Kalanianaole Highway, Kamehameha Highway to Kapaa Quarry Road; Ililani Street from Mokapu Boulevard to Iliwahi Loop; Iliwahi Loop from Ilimano to Ilimano streets; Iliaina Street from Ililani Street to Iliwahi Loop and from Ilihau Street to end; Kailua Road from Kalanianaole Highway to Kawainui Bridge; Ilikaa Place; Alahaki and Akupa streets; and Akupa and Nanaloko places.

Ahiki Street; Kaaiai Street from Huli to Nakini streets; and Kumuhau Street from Waikupanaha to Mahailua streets.

Keaahala Road from Anoi Road to Keaahala Place.


Kalani Valley
Kalaniiki Street and Kalanikai Place.

Hawaii Kai
Kalanianaole Highway from Nawiliwili Street to Sandy Beach Park entrance; and from Hanauma Bay to Sandy Beach.

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