Push for city light
at Kailua school fails

About two dozen supporters seeking the installation of a flashing yellow caution light in front of St. John Vianney Parish School in Kailua were disheartened to hear the city won't be funding the project.

"We're very disappointed. We had hoped we would be able to get on the budget for one of the years following. What we were basically told was no," said Principal Jane Ann Quinn, who met with Transportation Services Director Ed Hirata yesterday.

Supporters said the light was promised under the previous city administration, but the project was cut from the most recent budget. They demanded to meet with Hirata last week, but he was out of state.

City officials said that they have to prioritize projects, and there are other areas with more pressing traffic safety needs.

"We are very much concerned about safety, but we have to look at it on an islandwide perspective," said city spokesman Mark Matsunaga.

Matsunaga said that city engineers have studied that stretch of Keolu Drive. A median curbing was installed as a traffic-calming device several years ago, and there are traffic signals on both ends of the block where the school is located.

"There are many other spots around Oahu that have nothing. We have to look at those first," he said.

In the meantime, Quinn said the school will continue looking for someone to replace the crossing guard who retired.

Brandais Jones, a mother of a first- and second-grader at the school, said she remains concerned about her daughters' safety when they walk to school. "It's not (a) safe walk on their own," Jones said.

"We will pray that our students will be safe when they cross," principal Quinn said.

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