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Hawaii News

State changes speed limit on busy Kailua road

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The Department of Transportation is reducing the speed limit on Kalanianaole Highway to 25 mph near Olomana School to accommodate a new crosswalk. The new limit will be enforced during school hours and will be 35 mph at other times.

Starting tomorrow, new signs will go up on Kalanianaole Highway between the Olomana Fire Station and old Kalanianaole Road with lower speed limits around Olomana School.

But not all residents are supportive of going slower on the highway.

"One of the problems I have with that is I have never ever seen a child cross the road," said Waimanalo neighborhood board chairman Wilson Kekoa Ho. "They have the overpass. Why do they need the slowdown signs?"

The state says the new, slower speed limits are necessary during the school year to accommodate a new crosswalk fronting the Olomana School entrance road.

Speed limits near the Old Kalanianaole Highway intersection will be decreased from 45 mph to 35 mph. The speed limit will be 25 mph around Olomana School during the start and end of the school day.

New signs will flash when the 25 mph speed limit is in effect.

Susan Lake, of Enchanted Lake, supports the changes. She thinks motorists tend to speed on the long stretch of highway.

"It’ll be good because it’s too fast," she said. "Anything to slow traffic down and save a life."

Although the signs are going up tomorrow, police will not begin enforcing the speed limit until June 28 to give drivers time to get used to the changes, said Tammy Mori, Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Violators can be fined up to $250.

Mori said engineers did a study to determine the speed near the new crosswalk and visited area businesses and residents to notify them of the change. A notice also was published in the paper, she said.

Ho said the new, slower speeds, will make "tremendous" traffic worse.

"It’s very, very heavy, especially in the morning, going from Waimanalo to Kailua. It really doesn’t stop till 10 or after," he said. "Coming home is the same."

Workers will be putting up the new signs through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Drivers are asked to use caution while driving through the work area.


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