One week after two people were killed in a crash on Maui, the state will make changes to what residents say is a dangerous intersection.

Last Friday, July 20, two Maui residents were killed when a van crashed into a motorcycle. Police say the van’s driver was turning left onto Piilani Highway from East Welakahao Road. 

“I think that one is the dangerous (intersection) because there’s no traffic light and I’ve lived here 21 years and I’ve noticed there have been lots of accidents there,” said Kihei resident Molly Hoffman.   

Hoffman says her mother-in-law was in a car crash at the same intersection in November.

“She took a left onto that road, onto Piilani Highway, and somebody was coming towards going north and changed lanes and clipped her,” she said. 

The state Department of Transportation will remove the left turn lane on Welakahao Road onto Piilani Highway in hopes of reducing the number of crashes.

“Less than a week later (and) they’re taking action. (I’m) absolutely stunned it’s happening that quick,” said Kihei Community Association president Mike Moran on the fast work by the DOT. 

Although most residents believe it’s a good start, others think a traffic signal should be installed instead.

“(I’m) kind of disappointed that there are no plans for a traffic signal there,” said Lisa Bryant, who works in Kihei. “I would hope they would do studies and eventually put a traffic signal there it deserves it there, there’s a lot of traffic that goes through that road.”

In a statement, the DOT said:

There is no plan (to) signalize this intersection or to remove the left turn from Piilani Highway onto Welakahao Road at this time. Following the striping modifications at this intersection, HDOT will evaluate impact to the highway and surrounding roads.

“I wish that they had acted sooner so that this accident didn’t happen,” Bryant added. 

The lane will permanently close Monday, July 30.

HDOT would like motorists to be advised that there may be delays throughout the week until the re-striping is complete.