HONOLULU (KHON2) — If you’re driving through McCully, a couple of streets will look different to you.
The city has chosen that neighborhood to pilot a new project called Shared Streets.
The city has selected Waiola and Hauoli streets for this pilot.
So when you’re passing through, you’ll see signs like this that say Shared Street which means people will be on the street to walk, bike and roll. Drivers need to slow down.
The concept is everyone has to share the road.
The McCully neighborhood was selected for a number of reasons.
The city says it’s a critical connection between Waikiki and the King Street protected bikeway.
“Additionally, the McCully neighborhood is almost 50%, keiki and kupuna,” said Renee Espiau, Complete Streets administrator. “You know, these are populations that are generally not auto-dependent, you know, they do rely on walking, biking, and transit a lot.”
You’ll see multiple traffic control signs like these but lanes and street parking will not be blocked.
Espiau tells us the goal is to bring traffic speeds down to be consistent with people walking and biking in the street and to discourage cut-through traffic.
The city is also experimenting with a pop-up walking and biking lane marked with cones on Hauoli.
“We’re not sure if people are going to feel comfortable sort of walking, biking in the street, as they have in some other communities” said Espiau. “So we’re sort of trying a few different strategies. And if that pop-up lane is really successful, you know, we may think about improving that, you know, in a more permanent manner.”
One resident tells us he likes the project because he sees people on the street all the time.
“There’s not any sidewalks here, and so something like this is very very necessary,” said McCully resident Chris Lee. “I think it’s going to improve safety, and even I walk my dog on this street. I have to go on to the street a lot of the times.”
But closer to Waiola Shave Ice where the road is wider and there are sidewalks, the situation may be a little different.
“From the past 35 years of my observation I think we’re okay,” said Waiola Shave Ice owner Jerry Lee. “I didn’t really see any significant injury or accidents.”
While there may be a learning curve the neighborhood board chair says Shared Streets are worth exploring.
“I do like these types of projects where you try something innovative,” said McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood board chair Tim Streitz. “It’s very minimal investment what it sounds like on the city’s part. So they’ve said if it doesn’t work they’ll either try and adapt to it, or worse case they’ll remove it and call it quits.”
The project runs in May and June.
To share your feedback on the project visit www.honolulu.gov/completestreets/university.