Gov. Ige unveils new traffic and pedestrian safety measures for the back-to-school season

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Governor David Ige and representatives from the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and Department of Transportation Services (DTS) spoke at the Beat the School Jam press conference this morning to discuss new efforts to address traffic and pedestrian safety. “With the return of approximately 20,000 university students on Monday, August 26th, we’re anticipating travel times to increase,” Ige said.

Ige announced that daytime roadwork will be postponed between 4:00am-8:00pm from August 26th-30th to accommodate the increased traffic. The big news coming out of the conference, however, was the debut of a new notification system that “allows the public to sign up for scheduled road work notices by district, as well as text messages.” This system can be used by registering at HNL.info, or through the Go Akamai app.

HDOT Deputy Director Ed Sniffen said the system “will give you real-time information of when our lane closures are planned.” Oahu is currently covered by the system, and the Maui system will be released in the next two weeks. Kauai will follow next summer, and Hawaii Island by the end of 2020. The system also provides space for people to make suggestions, in case any important information isn’t there.

“We’re putting out as much information as possible on our web site,” Sniffen said. “If there’s any information that is helpful and not up there, let us know and we’ll put it up there.”

Additionally, more raised crosswalks will be implemented in areas of significant foot-traffic. Five more have been added on Kalihi Street; four on Farrington Highway; and one in Ewa Beach on Fort River road. A list of possible sites for other raised crosswalks will be released at the end of the month.

“Slow down, be aware, and take care of everybody’s kids out there,” Sniffen said.

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