Monday, December 27, 1999



Highway officials consider
ways to accommodate seniors

People 75 or older are most likely
to get killed in traffic accidents


By Jaymes K. Song


Transportation officials believe improvements are needed on America's roadways to accommodate the quickly growing population of senior drivers and pedestrians.

Experts speaking at the recent Hawaii Traffic Safety Forum at the Hilton Hawaiian Village recommended everything from increasing the size of traffic signs to expanding the time of crosswalk signals.

"It benefits everyone, but people helped the most is the older drivers," said Beth Alicandri of the Federal Highway Administration.

Other improvements include:

Bullet Making pavement markers brighter

Bullet Placing signs and signals overhead

Bullet Increasing highway lighting

Bullet Giving advance warning for sight-restricted locations

Bullet Lengthening acceleration lanes and merging areas

We're looking for reasonable breakpoints, not optimum solutions, Alicandri said.

The improvements are needed because drivers 75 and older are involved in more fatal automobile crashes than any other age group based on the number of miles driven, Alicandri added, and because the population of people 65 and older will increase from 33.5 million in 1995 to more than 50 million in 2020.

Of the 746,329 licensed drivers in Hawaii, 32,332 of those are 75 or older.

The Federal Highway Administration's "Older Driver Highway Design Handbook," listed 94 recommendations, 54 of which applied to intersections.

Studies have shown that older drivers are involved in crashes at intersections more than anywhere else.

The biggest problems for older drivers is deteriorating vision, states the handbook. Other concerns are slower mental skills and diminished physical capabilities.

For pedestrians, "refuge islands" were suggested, similar to the one drivers pass going from the Beretania Street onto the congested Punchbowl Street.

Kevin Akazawa, from the state Department of Transportation, said some of the recommendations are already being adopted while others are being considered.

Keith Harrison, an engineer for the Federal Highway Administration, said the recommendations are for state transportation officials to make more-informed decisions when designing roadways.

Harrison and Alicandri said they do not condone cutting any driving privileges for elderly drivers, such as barring driving at night or restricting them to an area.



Hakalina Road from Pahihi to Puhawai roads.


Vicinity of Kunia Interchange from 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.

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

Lanikuhana Avenue.

Waipahu Street from Amokii Street to Waikele Road.

Moanalua Road from Punanani Channel to Pali Momi Street; Kaonohi Street between Alania and Kahapili streets; Kahapili Street between Kaonohi and Kaonohi streets; Maohu and Heleconia places; and Akaaka, Ilee, Kulawai and Kaamilo streets.

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


Foster Village
Halupa Street from Haloa Drive to Punihi Street.

Salt Lake
Ala Ilima and Likini streets.

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.

Huli Street.

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.

King, River and Bethel streets.

Kapiolani Boulevard; 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.

Keeaumoku and Heulu streets; and Piikoi at Lewalani drives.

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

Spreckels Street.

Aha Nui Place; Ainakoa Avenue; and Malia and Makaikoa streets.

Ala Wai Boulevard between Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue; McCully Street between Ala Wai and Kapiolani boulevards; and Ala Wai Promenade.

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; Waikulama Street; and Kamehameha Highway from Pipilani to Kaupau places.

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; Alahaki and Akupa streets; and Ilikaa, 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.


YWCA 2K Millennium Run
10 a.m. Friday beginning/ending at Likelike Street. Route goes along Hotel Street Mall, and Richards, King, Likelike, Punchbowl and Beretania streets.

New Year Fun Run
12:01 a.m. Saturday starting/ending at Iolani Palace Driveway and continuing along Hotel Street Mall and Punchbowl, King, Alapai, Beretania and Lauhala streets.

E-mail to City Desk

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