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Some people aren't pleased with new safety enhancements in China - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Some people aren't pleased with new safety enhancements in Chinatown

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HONOLULU -

Former Governor Neil Abercrombie isn't pleased with new safety enhancements in Chinatown.

He sounded off on the issue Thursday morning, voicing what many business owners were thinking.

"I'm not interested in getting into an argument, I'm not interested in getting into a philosophical discussion on planning strategies. These things are dangerous, they are useless, and aesthetically, they're the ugliest things I've ever seen," Abercrombie said. 

Things escalated quickly at a meeting to discuss a program designed to protect pedestrians in Chinatown.

Before the presentation even started, Abercrombie, who has an office in chinatown, expressed what many in the group of Chinatown business owners said they were thinking.

"We supported complete streets because it supposed to benefit everyone that uses the route. When we saw the maps in the renderings, it wasn't like this. This is a war zone, this is ugly, feng shui wise it's bad, we don't like it because it's very offensive," Chu Lan, Chinatown Business and Community Association said.

The intersections at Nuuanu and Pauahi like the others in the area, have been reconfigured with bulb outs. 

It's supposed to make crossing safer for pedestrians, but business owners are concerned it actually makes things worse.

Michael Packard, administers the complete streets program says the Chinatown project is a demonstration and a direct response to community feedback.

"The number one concern with the community that we heard is pedestrian safety. This is following a pedestrian deaths last year, and so our primary concern and the primary purpose of this project is pedestrian safety," Packard said. 

The city has plans to expand to other communities.

Business owners are expected to propose alternative solutions at a neighborhood board meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday at Aloha Tower.

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