E Maka‘ala! (Be alert!)
Six pedestrians were killed in a span of six months in 2016 while trying to cross Farrington Highway on the Leeward Coast of O‘ahu. In response to these tragedies the Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL) held multiple Solutions Meetings in Wai‘anae and Nānākuli. The Solutions Meetings brought together family and community members, business owners, Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii Department of Transportation, Hawaii Department of Health, and elected officials to discuss engineering, education, and enforcement actions to protect pedestrians and bicyclists using Farrington Highway. As a result of the Solutions Meetings and with Hawaii Department of Transportation’s permission, HBL along with community members, businesses, and elected officials set up pedestrian crossing flags at all twenty-five un-signalized crosswalk locations on Farrington Highway.
Flags are easy to use! Grab one, wave it, maintain eye contact with each motor vehicle driver in each lane, keep waving the flag high while crossing! Drop the flag in the holder on the opposite side of the road. (Note: be especially vigilant at night!) Spread the word! HBL is looking for community donations and volunteers to help make the flags, holders and to adopt crosswalks. The project has been expanded from the Wai‘anae Coast to Kapolei and ‘Āina Haina.
Adopt a Crosswalk!
Who can adopt?
Anyone can adopt a crosswalk! A Girl Scout Troop in Kapolei, business owners, and many concerned community members have volunteered to adopt crosswalks with E Maka‘ala Flag. It’s important that you live close to the crosswalk you adopt so you can check the flags and holder regularly for loss or damage AND so that you’re familiar with the pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the crosswalk.
E Maka’ala Flags are only put up at un-signalized crosswalks where injuries have occurred or experience shows that it’s dangerous.
Each crosswalk costs about $50 for installation. We ask that crosswalk adopters donate or fundraise $50 per crosswalk to cover the cost of the flag materials, holder, etc. If donating or fundraising is a challenge we are still willing to work with you. (Contact us at Bicycle@HBL.org)
Project success improves with spreading knowledge and understanding of the flags. We ask that those who adopt flags do their best to spread the word in the neighborhood about how to use them and why they’re important. A community that values the flags are more likely to utilize them and jointly look after them. Some ideas include: reaching out to a school or a running club, practice using the flag at the location so drivers become familiar with them, or spending a little time at the location to encourage pedestrians to use them.
Please contact us at Bicycle@HBL.org if you’re interested in donating or volunteering your time.