An effort is in the works to make the trip to school safer for kids going to Fern Elementary in Kalihi, by making a new separated walkway.

Many residents say the area from Kahauiki street to Kamehameha IV Road is always busy with kids getting to and from school.

“Driving to drop off the kids and driving back home, you do see a lot of kids crossing you know… just running across the street, nowhere for them to walk on the side of the street. Groups of kids will be in the actual street because they’re trying to hang out with their friends,” said Daniel Salas, a Kalihi resident.

The city through its Safe Routes to School program is proposing a separated walkway to run from the corner of Fern Elementary school on Kahauiki Street down the extent of Kamehameha IV Road, which residents say is also busy with cars trying to park. Residents say students often times end up walking closer to the road and even on the road to get around the cars.

“It’s one of those things that the community has always asked for it to be safer for all of our residents,” said Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board member Ikaika Hussey.

Hussey said the Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board recently created a “Sidewalks Committee” to address this issue.

“Part of it is working with our local police officers to make sure that the areas that are for pedestrians are enforced as pedestrian areas and also enforcing our parking rules,” said Hussey. 

Resident Daniel Salas thinks there needs to be additional improvements made to the area.

“Maybe lights at the intersection. In the morning, especially when it’s dark, some of the kids you know, you cannot see them,” said Salas. 

There will be a community meeting for residents in the area next week Monday. People will be able to voice their thoughts on the proposal and offer additional ideas.