Some of them have motors. Others have wheels. Almost everywhere you look there’s a new mode of transportation vying for space on the sidewalk or roadway.
Add pedestrians to that mix, without clear rules and regulations and you’ve got serious safety issues.
Perhaps they’ve whizzed by you on the sidewalk? Or driven next to your car on the road.
Nowadays there are numerous new ways to get around and according to people KHON spoke to, no clear rules for them.
“The lack or clarification causes a lot of issues because there’s a lot of diverse kind of vehicles and devices like scooters, mopeds, Segways, electric bicycles and skateboards, now electric skateboards, that people don’t know where to ride them,” said Robert Sato a resident of Honolulu.
At the start of every block of the protected bike lane on King Street in Honolulu there is a clear sign stating the lane is for bikes only. But the rules for bicycle riders and where they are allowed to ride is different in residential and business areas.
And there aren’t always signs posted stating what is allowed in which area.
City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi drafted a new resolution she hopes will make things safer.
“We’ve gotten so many messages, emails, phone calls about the conflict between cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and really we need a good safety program we just need to map this all out,” Kobayashi explained.
“The Resolution is calling for the city to look at signage and awareness programs, maybe more educational programs so that we can have a safe city… all of this needs to be worked out with awareness programs and more signage to make it safer,” Kobayashi said.
She said the city welcomes all these new forms of transportation. Her plan is for the city administration to work with the Honolulu Police Department and The Department of Transportation Services to create a safe environment for everyone.
Daniel Alexander from the Hawaii Bicycling League said there are some simple things to remember when it comes to sharing our roadways.
“Pedestrians in crosswalks, they have the right of way whether you’re on a bicycle or driving. There’s right of way and there’s looking out for each other. Someone on a bike or someone inside a vehicle really they need to look out for pedestrians because they’re very vulnerable. Anyone that’s in anything heavier should be looking out for them because they could do a lot of damage to that person,” Alexander said.
Other rules to remember when it comes to sharing the sidewalk and roadways:
For a look at the laws pertaining to bicycles on Oahu, log on to bike.honolulu.gov
Segways, or personal assistive mobility devices, are allowed on sidewalks according to state law. HRS 291C 134.5
HRS 291C -1 Definitions : “Electric personal assistive mobility device” means a self-balancing, two-wheeled, non-tandem-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, using an electric propulsion system that limits the maximum speed of the device to twelve and a half miles per hour or less.
Skateboards and other devices considered ‘toy devices’ are allowed on sidewalks (except in areas otherwise prohibited, like Waikiki).
Sec. 15-4.6 Use of bicycles, skateboards, roller skates and similar devices restricted. (a) For purposes of this section, “Waikiki” means the Waikiki special district as described in Section 21-9.80-2. (b) No person upon a skateboard or roller skates, or riding in or by means of any toy vehicle or similar device, shall go upon any roadway, except while crossing a street. When so crossing, such person shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians.