Question: Regarding Ward Avenue (808ne.ws/91sty), what’s the difference between a protected bike lane and a regular one?
Answer: “Protected bike lanes, also known as cycle tracks or separated bike lanes, are bikeways located on or adjacent to streets where bicycle traffic is separated from motor vehicle traffic by physical barriers, such as on-street parking, posts/bollards, curbing, or landscaped islands. Less experienced riders often require this level of protection in order to feel comfortable riding along high-speed, high-volume roads,” according to Honolulu County’s overview of its Complete Streets project in the urban core.
Plain bike lanes run alongside other traffic without barriers.
Ward Avenue now has protected bike lanes — one in each direction — from South King Street to Ala Moana Boulevard.
Q: Auwe. The city removes marked crosswalks for these bikeways. Maybe people don’t realize this? Pedestrians need to cross safely. More people (pedestrians) are moving into Kakaako.
A: Honolulu County’s description of the Ward Avenue project mentions the removal of marked crosswalks at the intersections of Waimanu Street, Kawaiahao Street, and Ilaniwai Street. “Crossing the street at these locations will still be legally permitted even without the markings,” it says.
A marked, mid-block crosswalk on the mauka end of Ward Avenue between Kapiolani Boulevard and South King Street also was removed, it says. A pedestrian signal and crosswalk will be installed along this block at an unspecified future date, it says.
Read more at honolulu.gov/completestreets.
Q: My granddaughter is five months pregnant. Is it safe to get vaccinated against COVID-19? Does CDC have any findings or reports on this subject? We hate to hear horrid rumors.
A: Yes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women be vaccinated against COVID-19, based on separate analyses that found no increased risk of miscarriage when the vaccine was administered before 20 weeks of pregnancy and no safety concerns for mothers or babies when it was administered later than that.
“Combined, these data and the known severe risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy demonstrate that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people outweigh any known or potential risks,” the CDC said in a news release issued Aug. 11.
The health agency says it’s urgent for pregnant women to be vaccinated, because of increased circulation of the highly contagious delta variant and increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from COVID-19 infection.
You can read the full release, which contains links to the research and data analyses, at 808ne.ws/pregvac.
Q: I know that you have answered this question in the past, especially during the pandemic, but I just wanted to check if we can still currently renew a driver’s license by mail for Honolulu residents age 72 and up?
A: No, Honolulu County discontinued this popular option many months ago, saying that it needed to devote more staffing to in- person service. You’ll have to renew your driver’s license in person, and can make an appointment to do so via the online reservation system AlohaQ.org.
Honolulu County residents temporarily living out of state can renew by mail, but the new license would be sent to their non-Hawaii address; this is an option for college students, for example.
Q: Why were so many flags at half-staff?
A: As a sign of respect for the U.S. service members and others killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 26. Gov. David Ige ordered that U.S. and Hawaii flags be flown at half-staff at the state Capitol, all state offices and agencies, and at the Hawaii National Guard headquarters through sunset Aug. 30, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
I’d like to thank Ernie and Noel for coming to my aid in the pouring rain on Aug. 23 at Pearlridge Center. The deck was so slick I pretty much fell out of my car. Mahalo you two for your kind aloha! — Caryl S.
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.