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Pali Highway in Nuuanu to get lower speed limit, raised crosswalks

The speed limit on Pali Highway in Nuuanu will be permanently reduced from 35 to 30 mph, effective Oct. 23, according to state transportation officials.

Speed limit signs are scheduled to be replaced that same Friday.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said the new speed limit of 30 mph will be in both directions between Waokanaka Street and Jack Lane to support additional safety measures, including the installation of two raised crosswalks in November.

The raised crosswalks will be installed at the intersections of Ahipuu Street and upper Dowsett Avenue.

“We continue to observe drivers going at speeds 15 miles per hour above the posted speed limit through Nuuanu,” said Ed Sniffen, Deputy Director for Highways, in a news release. “Installation of raised crosswalks near the bus stops used by the community will remind those driving through this neighborhood that they need to be mindful of the people that live in Nuuanu and to look out for pedestrians and other road users.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at about $60,000 in state highway funds.

The raised crosswalks, the HDOT said, will supplement the “gateway in-street treatments,” made up of delineators and two fluorescent yellow signs flanking both sides of the road alerting drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks at Upper Dowsett Avenue, Wood Street, Lower Dowsett Avenue, and Ahipuu Street.

The gateway in-street treatments were installed in 2018 following a fatal pedestrian accident that year.

In October 2018, a Ford pickup struck an 83-year-old man while he was walking westbound in the marked crosswalk by Wood Street. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

The design of the raised pedestrian crossings will be similar to the ones previously installed on Farrington Highway by Waianae Intermediate and High School, Kalihi Street by King Kalakaua Middle School, and Fort Weaver Road by Ilima Intermediate School.

According to the state traffic code, motorists are required to stop for pedestrians on the same side of the road as well as for pedestrians approaching from the other side if “close enough to be in danger.”

Electronic message boards will be posted throughout the area to notify motorists of the upcoming change.

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