SA: DOT to install speed tables on Farrington Hwy 2/14/21

Department of Transportation moved by pedestrian deaths to install speed tables on Farrington Highway
By Rosemarie Bernardo, Star-Advertiser, 2/14/21 Updated 11:40 pm

The state Department of Transportation completed installation of two new raised crosswalks, including one at the intersection of Farrington Highway and Laumania Avenue. Photo by Craig T. Kojima / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Area lawmakers are applauding the state Department of Transportation for installing two new raised crosswalks on Farrington Highway at the entrance of Nanakuli to increase pedestrian safety.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said the community appreciates the efforts DOT has made to the make the community safer. Shimabukuro’s district includes Kalaeloa, Nanakuli, Waianae and Makaha.

Installation of the raised pedestrian crosswalks on the highway between Piliokahi Avenue and Laumania Avenue was completed Jan. 14. The project cost an estimated $50,000 to $60,000.

The elevated crosswalks — also called speed tables — encourage drivers to slow down when approaching the crosswalk.

In addition to the new crosswalks, the Transportation Department reduced the speed limit in the vicinity of Tracks Beach Park and Haleakala Avenue to 30 mph from 35 mph.

The deaths of three pedestrians on the highway within a six-week period in October and November prompted transportation officials to address the issue. State Highways Deputy Director Ed Sniffen said, “During that time, we decided that we had to act and do something immediately, which is why we installed the raised pedestrian crosswalks.”

Farrington Highway is the main thoroughfare on the Leeward Coast and sole access route to the Waianae community. Shimabukuro noted that any longtime resident in the community knows someone who has had a friend or a family member killed in a car crash on the highway or fatally struck by a vehicle.

State Rep. Stacelynn Eli (D, Kalaeloa-Ko Olina-Maili) said, “Our community is close-knit … everybody knows everyone.”

The raised crosswalks are installed in the area where 22-year-old Kaulana Werner was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the highway a block from his home in April 2016.

Police arrested the driver, Myisha Lee Armitage, about a half-mile from the crash site. Her blood alcohol content was 0.13, well over the legal threshold of 0.08.

A judge sentenced Armitage in 2019 to 10 years in prison for negligent homicide in Werner’s death.

His death sparked his family and other community members to increase awareness of pedestrian safety.

Shimabukuro and Eli said that prior to the installation of the raised crosswalks, some residents were apprehensive and concerned whether the speed tables would exacerbate heavy traffic.

Residents are now pleased the area is much safer. “I applaud DOT for what they’ve done,” Shimabukuro said.

The project in Nanakuli comes after the state installed raised crosswalks on the Pali Highway in Nuuanu. Speeding has long been a problem on the Pali Highway, where pedestrian fatalities have occurred over the years. The raised crosswalks are located at the intersections of Ahipuu Street and Upper Dowsett Avenue.

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