Vehicles having trouble getting over steeply raised crosswalks in Waianae

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — It was meant to keep pedestrians safe by making drivers slow down. But the raised crosswalks on Farrington Highway in Waianae had some unintended consequences. We’re told the raised crosswalks that were installed in August are working and there’s been positive feedback. But the crosswalks are too steep, damaging vehicles. The four raised crosswalks on Farrington Highway have created a bumpy ride.

“It appears that some of them have been raised entirely too high and it’s causing damage to vehicles as they go over and trouble being seen,” said Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board Vice-Chair Tim Riley.

“I did hear there was an accident involving a military vehicle that had slowed down because of the speed bump and somebody crashed into them,” said Senator Maile Shimabukuro.

Transportation Department officials tell us the raised crosswalks are steeper than what they wanted to build. They say they used an old topographic survey on file instead of doing a new one to get more information for that area.

“One of the biggest concerns I had for this one is we just didn’t have the best topo for this improvement but I didn’t want to delay the improvement because any delay could cost people their lives,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director of Highways Ed Sniffen. “In the future, we’ll make sure that we have the topos in place as we move forward with the next areas to ensure that once we do it once, we won’t have to redo them again.”

The state says the modifications cost about $5-thousand for each crosswalk, so a total of about $20-thousand. And if the weather holds up, they hope to finish by the end of the week.”

“We are flattening the slopes so it’s a little bit easier for the vehicles to get through while enduring that they slow down when they get there,” said Sniffen.

Some say the project should’ve been done correctly the first time.

“Some people are very disturbed we are having to fix them because that’s our tax money. Good money being thrown after bad,” said Riley.

But are glad that their voices were heard and changes are being made.

“I think it’s a lesson learned and I know that DOT has the best intentions and I’m glad that they did what they did because we needed something drastic to happen in this community. The pedestrian fatalities are still out of control,” said Senator Shimabukuro.

The state is looking at putting more raised crosswalks in areas where there are conflicts between high volumes of traffic and pedestrians. Places like Nanakuli and other areas of Fort Weaver Road. Also, the state says it welcomes any feedback so feel free to approach them with questions or concerns.

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