Diagonal crossing now legal at Waikiki intersection

Caldwell: Makeover should have traffic flowing better on Kalakaua Ave.

Published  6:15 PM HST Apr 08, 2013
HONOLULU -

A corner crossing at Kalakaua Avenue and Royal Hawaiian Avenue in Waikiki used to be both dangerous and illegal until Monday.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell led a group of people across the intersection diagonally.  It's known as the "Barnes Dance" and now it's allowed at this busy intersection.

From above, you get a better view of what's going on.  All traffic comes to a complete stop so pedestrians can cross in all directions, including diagonally.

It was one of the recommendations of a recent Waikiki traffic study.

"It's great," said Rick Egged from the Waikiki Improvement Association.  "It's our single worst traffic problem in Waikiki.  On weekends, it will back up all the way to Ala Moana Boulevard."

"Take a right hand turn coming down Kalakaua.  Almost impossible.  I've timed it myself," said Mayor Caldwell.  "Very frustrating.  Some folks just give up and go home."

The city was able to act quickly moving walk signal cables and re-striping the intersection overnight using city workers at a cost of $5,000.

The mayor says the new crossings will not only help drivers coming into Waikiki but will protect pedestrians as well.

"I think we've all seen trying to take a right, we're like, 'Oh man!  Someone's going to get hit!' So this is about everyone crossing at one time and we crossing together is safer than no one crossing.  I think this is going to save lives," said Caldwell.

The city will convert the Lewers Street and Kalakaua Avenue intersection on Sunday night.

The city's transportation department will monitor the intersection via camera and officials can make immediate timing changes.

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