Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Work at Wilder and
Pensacola resuming soon

Question: Some repair work was started months ago at the mauka-Ewa corner of Wilder Avenue and Pensacola Street. It's been stalled so long the weeds are growing over the barricades. This is a very busy crossing. When is this project going to be finished?

Answer: You've probably noticed that the weeds and barricades were removed recently and asphalt laid to make the area "more user-friendly."

The sidewalk was demolished to construct new curb ramps under standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, it will be at least another few months before the project to build the ramp will resume, according to Cheryl Soon, director of the city Department of Transportation Services.

The project is complicated because it requires the relocation of the traffic signal and a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the federal government.

The traffic signal equipment has been ordered but has a long delivery time, Soon said.

Meanwhile, this particular curb ramp is part of a project of about 200 such ramps that require an NPDES permit to meet new EPA requirements regarding storm water runoff that took effect in March.

Q: In your Feb. 24, 2002 "Kokua Line," you addressed the issue of motorized scooters. Could you give your readers an update? In West Loch Estates, we are plagued by a growing number of these two-wheeled hazards being ridden by girls and boys far too young to be operating a motor vehicle. They are on public streets, West Loch Shoreline Park paths and on sidewalks, creating a real danger to pedestrians, bicyclists and themselves. In the absence of parental responsibility, is the city or state making any movement to restrict the use of these vehicles?

A: Honolulu Councilman Romy Cachola has introduced a bill to prohibit the use of motorized devices, including motorized scooters, on all public sidewalks and streets.

Bill 40 had a public hearing last December, passed second reading and is now pending in the Council's Transportation Committee, chaired by Councilman Nestor Garcia.

A staff member said the committee was waiting to see what happens on the state level first before taking any action.

Specifically, it was waiting for the outcome of Senate Bill 1051, which would allow people only 16 and older (unless disabled) to operate "personal assistive mobility devices," specifically the much-publicized Segway vehicles, to operate on sidewalks and bike paths.

"Consumer" models of Segway (as opposed to commercial models) will not be allowed to exceed speeds of 8 mph. There are other restrictions aimed "to protect the operator, pedestrians and traffic."

SB 1051 was poised to be go before the Legislature for a final vote this week.


To the two people who helped me at the baggage claim area at Honolulu Airport on Jan. 28. I was more embarrassed than hurt when I fell off-balance picking up my bag from the carousel. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. -- J.T.I.


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