Honolulu officials on Friday announced the opening of a protected, two-way bicycle lane on Pensacola Street, which runs mauka to makai between Wilder Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard.
The Pensacola bike lane connects Makiki — where roughly 70% of residents have one or zero cars per household — to jobs, shops and services on the makai side of the H-1 freeway, city officials said. It also connects to the protected bike lane on King Street, which takes bicyclists eastbound to Moiliili or westbound to the Fasi Municipal Building and Honolulu’s Civic Center.
“We’re really excited,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a news release. “It’s about getting people out of their cars. It’s about getting people in the sun. It’s about having people be healthy. It’s about becoming carbon neutral. It’s about making this a more livable city. Just one more ongoing effort of creating a grid of protected bike lanes in the City and County of Honolulu.”
The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services said offering protected bike lanes will “give commuters more options to travel, without having to worry about parking or traffic congestion.” In addition, the grid of bicycle lanes throughout Honolulu “will help remove the dependence on personal vehicles on the roadways” to reduce traffic, and greenhouse gas emissions.”
In 2014, the city’s first protected bike lane was installed on King Street, and officials say it has resulted in a 50% reduction in pedestrian-vehicle collisions. Also, officials said it has improved visibility for both bicyclists and pedestrians and removed the former from riding on sidewalks.
In 2017, the city installed a two-way protected bike lane on South Street.
Another protected bike lane for Ward Avenue is under construction, along with several more bikeways in downtown Honolulu.
In addition to the bike lanes, the city says it will soon formalize a bus-only lane in the rightmost travel lane of King Street.
The bus lane will run from Dillingham Boulevard through downtown to Punchbowl Street and will be delineated with new signs, pavement markings, and red paint.
The installation of the bus lane is expected to take six to eight weeks and scheduled to begin on Monday.
The network of protected bike lanes and the bus lane is part of the city’s “Complete Streets” initiative to improve the safety and accessibility of roadways for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit users in Honolulu’s urban core.