State transportation officials said today crews have finished installing a pedestrian safety feature at four intersections along Pali Highway in the Nuuanu area, with plans to place them in Waianae next month.
The first “gateway in-street treatment,” which consists of two fluorescent yellow signs flanking both sides of the road alerting drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, was installed in mid-October at Wood Street, the site of a fatal pedestrian accident earlier that month. The signs are accompanied by 36-inch-tall delineators between travel lanes that draw attention to the crosswalk.
Additional sets were installed at the intersections of Ahipuu Street, North Dowsett Avenue, and South Dowsett Avenue as part of a pilot project to determine if they will help protect pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks.
“We’ve made a commitment to prioritize safety on our highways and that includes looking at solutions that can bring safety to our roads sooner,” said Ed Sniffen, state deputy director for highways, in a news release. “The gateway treatments will be tested in conjunction with our pedestrian safety improvement projects on Farrington Highway, Kalihi Street, and other state roadways.”
The state also plans to install the treatments at four unsignalized intersections — at Glenmonger, Bayview, Army and Kaupuni streets — on Farrington Highway in Waianae in December. If effective, others may be installed along the highway.
Similar gateway treatments installed in Michigan proved to be a low, cost effective way to increase driver yielding and speed reduction rates.
On Oct. 10, 83-year-old Raymond Endow was struck by a 2010 Ford pickup truck heading town-bound while in the Wood Street crosswalk, and later died from his injuries.
State law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians crossing “upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling” and those approaching from the opposite half of the roadway if the pedestrian is “approaching the vehicle so closely … as to be in danger.” Fines for the first offense are $150.
As of Nov. 21, state officials said there have been 104 traffic-related fatalities in Hawaii, of which 37 were pedestrians.