Pedestrian and traffic safety continues to be a top priority for State lawmakers, especially after the tragic death of McKinley High School Student Sara Yara. House Speaker Scott Saiki joined Wake Up 2Day to discuss efforts to improve safety along Kapiolani Boulevard and throughout the State.

Some comments from Speaker Saiki:

Last month, our community experienced the loss of Sara Yara, due to a negligent driver. My condolences go out to her family and school. After the tragic accident, immediate steps were taken to improve traffic safety for drivers and pedestrians in our community.

I met with the State Department of Transportation and the City Department of Transportation Services to immediately discuss a plan of action. DOT is now working on the following improvements:

• Installation of two elevated pedestrian crosswalks (or speed humps) on Pensacola Street between King Street and Kapiʻolani Boulevard.

• Installation of two elevated crosswalks and a red light camera at the Kapi’olani-Kamake’e intersection

Beginning yesterday morning, speed humps are being installed on the west side of Kapiʻolani Boulevard. This will take approximately two days to complete. DOT will be installing speed humps on both sides of the intersection of Kapiʻolani and Kamakeʻe Street. They are in the process of finalizing permits with the City for the east side.

This is an all-hands-on-deck effort. The City Department of Transportation Services will be conducting an engineering study to determine the best method of installing left turn signals at the Kapi’olani-Kamake’e intersection. They will be doing technical analysis to reevaluate contraflow lanes to determine if this needs to be removed. If speed humps are the right course of action, they will be reducing the speed limit to 25 mph in this area. They will also be looking more closely at the entirety of Kapi’olani Boulevard. to determine if it makes sense to reduce the speed limit from the current 35 mph. Lastly, new signage will be installed to indicate that it is a school zone.

Traffic safety is a statewide issue and I’m in support of seeing improvements take place throughout our state, so that we can keep our families, keiki, and kupuna safe. If anyone has any suggestions, we ask that you contact your legislator – we want to work with you to make our communities safer for all.