(KAILUA) KHON2 — Eight more raised crosswalks are coming to Oahu over the next month.

Department of Transportation officials said 54 out of the 59 recently installed have been near schools. The goal is to improve pedestrian safety.

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A Kailua man is also asking for improvements after he was recently rear-ended while stopping for pedestrians. Michael Vernon said a car hit him traveling at full speed in Kailua, knocking his car within five feet of the pedestrians crossing the road.

“I stopped for two pedestrians I make eye contact with them, I stopped and at this point, they’re crossing the road, and ‘boom!'” Vernon said.

Even though the back of his car is smashed, Vernon said, it could’ve been much worse if the pedestrians had ended up like 20 people who have been killed while walking on Hawaii streets this year. That’s up from 16 at this time in 2021.

“That’s two people that are not in pain not wheel bound or dead so I feel good,” Vernon said of stopping at the crosswalk.

Overall pedestrian deaths are way down from 18-year highs in 2018 and 2019 when 81 people were killed. That could be attributed to safety measures. Work began Monday morning on raised crosswalks coming to Kailua road.

“That’s a positive thing,” Kailua Neighborhood Board Chair Bill Hicks said. “Way back in February 2016 the Kailua Neighborhood Board went on record for requesting flashing lights on the two crosswalks on Kailua road by Koolau Farmers and the 7-Eleven heavily used by Kailua High School students.”

The HDOT tells KHON2 that flashing lights are only used in combination with another physical mitigation, “because the rate of vehicles yielding to pedestrians using them has been recorded as low as 19 percent,”

Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services uses tools for pedestrian risk mitigation like:

  • Pedestrian scrambles
  • Green arrows for protected turns
  • In-street pedestrian crossing signs
  • Gateway plastic poles

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The work on raised crosswalks on the windward side is scheduled to continue through October.