Nearly one year after fatal kakaako crash, new plans to improve safety at intersections

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tuesday, Jan. 28 will mark one year since the deadly Kakaako crash that injured six people and killed three pedestrians: local doctor, Travis Lau, Reino Ikeda from Japan and Casimir Pokorny from Pennsylvania.

Back when that happened, their loved ones told KHON that they wanted to see something done, so that something like the crash never happened again.

One of the things they wanted to see was red light cameras. Currently, Senator Lorraine Inouye is pushing a bill that allows counties to set those up. The cameras would snap photos of drivers who run red lights. It would also take a picture of the front and back of their car, showing the license plates. A citation would then be sent to whoever the car is registered to.

“We’re taking this seriously,” said Sen. Lorraine Inouye, District 4. “The violations are there, and of course endanger the lives of motorists or pedestrians as well.”

Similar plans to install red light cameras have failed in the past, but Inouye believes this year will be different.

“There’s been too many deaths on our highways and not only deaths but injuries ,” said Inouye. “So I cant imagine this bill not passing this year. It has to.”

The site where the accident happened is also being eyed for a major project to make pedestrian crossings safer. Senator Brian Schatz has acquired $20 million in federal funding to build a pedestrian bridge that crosses over Ala Moana Boulevard, connecting Ala Moana Beach Park with Ward Village and Ala Moana Center.

In a statement, Simon Treacy, President, Hawaii of The Howard Hughes Corporation said:

“This elevated walkway over Ala Moana Blvd. is a game-changer. This overpass will provide the community with a safe and secure pedestrian experience connecting mauka to makai. Through this public-private partnership, we look forward to developing a world-class, public amenity. We thank our partners at DOT and our Federal Delegation for their efforts in achieving this major milestone for Hawaii.”

The Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation said it is currently in the planning and development stage. There is no set date for when construction may begin.

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