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Bike Lanes Coming to Waialae Ave!
140 people attended the meeting at the Kilauea Gym Monday, October 29th, approximately 120 of whom supported bike lanes on Waialae! People spoke overwhelmingly in favor, and the City answered concerns of Palolo Valley residents regarding slower commuting times. At the end of the meeting (9 pm) City Department of Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka stated that the City would proceed with the Waialae bike lane project.
This has been a long time coming for bicycle and safety advocates who have been waiting since the city released the Oahu Bike Plan in 1999. Their hopes for better bike commuting routes from East Honolulu to the University of Hawaii at Manoa are finally becoming reality.
A recap of what will be happening on Waialae, as announced at the meeting:
*The city will install a bike lane all the way uphill, Kahala bound, on Waialae from St Louis Drive to 11th Ave.
*The city will install a bike lane downhill, Ewa bound, on Waialae from 7th Ave to St Louis Drive. From Kahala to 7th Ave will have sharrows so cyclists can take the sharrowed lane.
*The city has requested that McDonalds reduce cars queueing to its drive-thru at Waialae and Palolo Ave, particularly during the rush hour of 7-8 am.
*The city will remove the bus stop at McDonalds and ask bus riders to board at Aliiolani School, 1 block toward Kahala.
*The city will maintain the ability to turn left from Waialae into Sacred Hearts Academy.
The city estimates that the bike lane design (including relocating stop light locations and loop sensors to fit new lane alignments) will take about 6 months, followed by 8 months of construction, which may start as early as next spring. Bike lanes on Waialae are a huge step forward in making Honolulu a more bike friendly community. Bike lanes will make Kaimuki a place where drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists can all co-exist more safely. The bike lanes will encourage many new cyclists to try Waialae for commuting and short trips, and encourage existing cyclists to leave the sidewalks for pedestrians.
Thanks to everyone who spoke at the meeting--a special shout-out to Patricia Johnson and Pattie Dunn of the Red Hot Ladies who talked about the benefits of cycling for everyone!
John Yeh of Cycle Manoa spoke at the meeting last night.
Photo credits: Sau Hsu