Kokua Line: City fixing Waikiki pedestrian signal that skipped ahead during crosswalk countdown
Question: I found this unusual situation at the intersection of Kuhio and Paoakalani avenues several times, and apparently getting it fixed is evading the authorities.
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Question: I found this unusual situation at the intersection of Kuhio and Paoakalani avenues several times, and apparently getting it fixed is evading the authorities. Is there any way to send the city photos or videos to illustrate repairs that are needed? Or, if not, can you alert them to this particular, dangerous situation where a senior might start to cross thinking that they have 30 seconds, only to find the signal changing when they are halfway across?
Answer: Yes and yes. You submitted a smartphone video with your question that showed a pedestrian signal at that Waikiki intersection counting down one number at a time from 30 to 16 and then flashing immediately to zero — skipping 15 through one — when the traffic light turned yellow. In a follow-up call, you said you had noticed the crosswalk countdown skipping ahead intermittently for the past several weeks.
To answer your question, people reporting nonemergency concerns to the city are encouraged to use the Honolulu 311 app partly because that method allows them to include photos or videos illustrating exactly what needs fixing and where. You can download the Honolulu 311 app to your smartphone or another internet-connected mobile device, or make a report from its website, 808ne.ws/311hon. (For emergencies, call 911.)
You don’t need to report in this case because we passed your concern along to the city Department of Transportation Services, which dispatched a crew Thursday afternoon to fix the problem. Deputy Director Jon Nouchi confirmed that the signal should have been counting down to zero, and thanked you for reporting the problem.
To be clear, though, pedestrians should not enter the crosswalk during the countdown.
Hawaii Revised Statutes 291C-33, which was amended for clarity this year, says the only legal time for pedestrians to enter the crosswalk is on a “walk” signal, such as the white- colored pedestrian figure common at Honolulu’s signalized crosswalks.
By law, pedestrians may not start to cross on a “don’t walk” signal, such as the upraised red palm (hand), whether that signal is flashing or steady, or during the countdown that accompanies it. If they are already in the crosswalk when the “don’t walk” signal or countdown appears, they may finish crossing.
Last, we’ll add that although the Honolulu 311 app is convenient for many users, it is not the only way to report a concern to the city. The city Department of Customer Services has a web page devoted to explaining how a concern can be reported online or by phone, email or regular mail. You can read more at honolulu.gov/csd/concern.html.
It was a Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., westbound on Moanalua Freeway toward Red Hill. Apparently, there was an accident at Red Hill, resulting in three lanes of crawling traffic for a mile. While we were all waiting patiently, these six cars thought they were privileged to zip by in the shoulder lane without regard to everybody else, creating a traffic hazard and potentially another accident! Auwe. — Patient in traffic
Many thanks to a kind Honolulu resident who took pity on us tourists who mistakenly thought we were fit enough to climb the Koko Head stairs. Although we did not get to see the view from the top, we did experience the aloha spirit — from a young lady who interrupted her own routine to make sure we made it down safely. She also shared her water with us. It sounds silly to say it’s harder than it looks, because once you are there it looks quite difficult! Perhaps I should say it was harder than it looks on social media! — Tired visitor
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.