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City officials walk downtown to learn to make streets safer

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:34 p.m. HST, Apr 29, 2013

The mayor and other city officials went on a walking tour this morning to learn how to make the streets in downtown Honolulu safer for pedestrians.

“My goal is to implant concepts, to give you a new lens of what’s working and what isn’t for pedestrians,” substantiality expert Dan Burden told Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City Council members and local transportation and health officials.

At Queen and Alakea streets, Burden suggested that getting rid of right turn lanes might make it safer for pedestrians to cross.

National studies have found that Hawaii has some of the most dangerous streets in the nation, especially for senior citizens.

The City Council passed a “complete streets” law last year, under former Mayor Peter Carlisle, that requires city planners to consider walking, bicycling and other ways to get around Honolulu’s streets when planning, building and maintaining Honolulu’s streets. The city is spending $500,000 this year on the complete streets program.

Burden and city transportation officials will conduct similar walk-audit tours and workshops with community members in the next couple of weeks in Moiliili, Aiea and Kailua.

The first public workshop is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Christ United Methodist Church, 1639 Keeaumoku Street.

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