(9/13/19) Hawaii Bicycling League and Blue Zones Project Wahiawa put forward this California Ave Solutions Meeting Report with detailed recommendations on how to make California Ave safer for everyone.
In 2015 and 2017, two people were killed while walking on a short section of California Avenue. Additionally, California Ave has a documented history of pedestrian, bicycle, and motorist crashes and injuries in recent years. The two deaths and clear need for improved traffic safety brought Hawaii Bicycling League and Blue Zones Project – Wahiawa to organize a Solutions Meetings on June 24, 2019 to discuss and pursue solutions to make the street safer for walking and everyone.
Based on the input from the 36 people that participated in the Solutions Meeting, the City’s 2015 study “Honolulu Complete Streets Implementation Study Location Report – California Avenue from Kamehameha Highway to Wahiawa District Park”, research on safety issues, and safe streets best practices, Hawaii Bicycling League and Blue Zones Projects are proposing several big solutions to make California Ave safe for everyone:
- Implement the changes proposed in the California Honolulu Complete Streets Implementation Study Location Report. Specific items in this plan that would drastically improve pedestrian safety and should be advanced include:
- Implement a Road Diet – transitioning the street from four to three vehicular lanes with one thru lane in each direction and center left turn lane. This treatment is known to drastically reduce speeding and eliminates “multiple treat” risks at pedestrian crossing, both dramatically improving pedestrian safety, as well as the safety of all road users.
- Implement Pedestrian Crossing Islands – This provides a refuge for pedestrians to stop at in the middle of the road and allows them to give their attention to approaching drivers from one direction at a time. The results are dramatically improved pedestrian safety.
- Implement Roundabouts at select intersections – The 2015 City study proposes Roundabouts at the California Ave intersections with Lehua St/Muliwai St and North Canes St. Roundabouts dramatically improve safety at intersections by reducing speeds through intersections, eliminating the dangers associated with left turns, and reducing the points of potential conflict.
- Increase enforcement focused on speeding, failure to yield at crosswalks, running red lights, and other pedestrian safety related violations. Including through pursuing legislation for automated camera enforcement that will allow for 24-7 enforcement in critical areas.
- Increase education on safe driving, walking, and bicycling
The above are some of the most promising solutions to improve pedestrian safety and general traffic safety on California Avenue. In addition to these, many others were discussed and are detailed in the California Avenue Solutions Meeting Report.
All of these solutions require action by a variety of parties, whether it be supporting changes as a community member, enforcing laws as an HPD officer, funding improvements as an elected official, or designing and implementing street changes as a transportation official. Please take action to make these changes a reality so we can achieve a safer California Ave and Wahiawa where everyone can choose to walk, bike, take the bus, or drive. Email Daniel@hbl.org to get involved!