New light poles along busy Ala Moana Boulevard are lighting up the complaint lines at the Department of Transportation. The poles are considered wheelchair friendly, but just barely.
Phillips tried to make his way down Ala Moana Boulevard. But it's more like an obstacle course.
Some light poles are right in the middle of the sidewalk.
Lunsford Phillips is in a wheelchair and is a disability-rights attorney. He said it is "another example of being forgotten, not being thought of--and nobody likes to be forgotten and disregarded."
The Department of Transportation said it got a design exception, allowing it to meet guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The light poles barely make the approved 32 inches; that's 4 inches less than the general ADA requirement, which means 4 inches less for people in wheelchairs to pass by.
Phillips said, "The 4 inches is a major difference. It's the difference between being able to use it, and not being able to use it."
It is not just the lack of space, it is the placement of the poles that is causing complaints.
"We can't have the poles 24 inches from the curb and that's a safety issue, and the other thing is there's already a lot of underground utilities in the area. So they have to be careful of where they put the light poles," said Caroline Sluyter with the Department of Transportation.
Pedestrians we talked to didn't like the pole placements either.
Eric Sprinkle said, "Maybe one person can get around, but you got two people, you got bikes, you got people on the sidewalks trying to get around, this is definitely going to get in their way."
The DOT said a beautification project will put the utilities underground and replace old lights with the new ones. The department says the design and placement of the lights will most likely not change.
The DOT said the light poles should be completely installed by early next year. But burying the utilities will still take eight months from January to finish. The DOT said the beautification project cost about $40 million.