Kamehama Hwy Safety Improvements Approved!
On June 14th, HDOT announced that they are moving forward with safety improvements to Kamehameha Highway! The safety improvements will create consistent minimum 4ft width shoulders and a safety median on Kamehameha Hwy between the Roosevelt Bridge and Lanikuhana Avenue. As part of the planning, HDOT conducted a coned traffic study to study any possible traffic impacts from the safety improvements. The results showed no to minimal impact on traffic flow. HDOT also conducted an analysis of traffic crashes and injuries that showed that head-on collisions are a major issue on Kamehameha Hwy between the Roosevelt Bridge and Lanikuhana Avenue and that the safety improvements would directly address this issue.
Thank you to over 50 people that came out the Mililani Neighborhood Board to speak in support of the safety improvements – the strong showing demonstrated the need and community support for these crucial safety improvements through Kipapa Gulch.
While it’s the Kamehameha Hwy safety improvements aren’t on the agenda, they will undoubtedly be discussed at the next Mililani Neighborhood Board 6/27 7:30pm. Please come to out to make sure we have supportive voices present in the conversation. If you can make it, please contact Daniel@hbl.org.
Making a Safer Kamehameha Hwy!
Summary: The Hawaii Department of Transportation is planning to create continuous minimum 4 foot shoulders and a safety median on Kamehameha Hwy through Kipapa Gulch. This would create a safer bike connection between Mililani and Waipio and make the highway dramatically safer for everyone (read more below).
More details on the proposal:
- HDOT is proposing safety improvements to Kamehameha Hwy between Ka Uka Blvd and Lanikuhana St. These include:
- create continuous minimum 4 foot shoulders, wider where possible
- create a 6-foot median up the Mililani side of the gulch to improve driver safety
- maintain a 6-foot median up the Waipio side of the gulch for driver safety
- The change will be implemented through re-striping the highway, so it’ll be relatively inexpensive and fast.
- On the Waipio side, the proposal is to adjust the median to provide the shoulders, while maintaining a 6 foot median for driver safety.
- On the Mililani side, the proposal is to eliminate the “climbing lane” for 0.9 miles.
*HDOT is currently upgrading the Roosevelt Bridge (at the bottom of Kipapa Gulch) and will be installing 6 foot shoulders. This bridge work is the impetus for HDOT considering options to have shoulders continuously linking Mililani to Waipio.
How will this address safety for all road users: This is a safety improvement project that will make this section of Kamehameha Highway safer for everyone – those walking, biking, and driving.
- Shoulders will dramatically improve safety for those biking and walking.
- Shoulders will also improve safety for those driving – among the safety benefits for drivers is that shoulders provide “recovery area” if a driver exits the lane they have space to safely recover.
- The 6-foot median will improve safety for drivers (HDOT has said that safety records show that the Waipio side of the gulch which has a median has a better safety record than the Mililani side which doesn’t have a median).
How will this impact traffic: HDOT’s coned traffic study mimicked removal of the “climbing lane” over the week of April 2nd. HDOT’s analysis of the coned traffic study determined there was no to minimal impact on traffic flow. In addition to not negatively impacting traffic flow, there should be a safety benefit for everyone on the highway by reducing speeding motorists.
Safety First: Kamehameha Hwy is the only biking and walking option to get between Mililani and Waipio, so making it safe for those walking and biking must be the first priority. The improvements will also make the highway significantly safer for those driving.