High school students work with city, state to make Kalihi street safer
Everyday people waiting for the bus, cyclists and pedestrians dodge speeding motorists on North King Street.
"I think three times since I'm here. Three guys have died with the bicycle with the motorcycle. So it's really dangerous, yes it is," said Dora, who works at Jimmy's Produce and Filipino Store at the intersection where a bicyclist was run over and killed by a truck in 2017.
The vehicle was reportedly speeding as it was turning onto Ka'ili Street.
This corner, along with ones at Mokuea Street, Pu'uhale Road and Haka Drive were chosen by Farrington High School engineering students as the sites for new painted curb extensions known as bulb outs. The students also developed the eye-catching design.
"We actually were involved with getting them to map out their routes that they typically walk in the neighborhood and they identified this as one of the locations where they had challenges and seemed a little dangerous," said Renee Espiau, Complete Streets Administrator for Honolulu.
According to officials, visual boundaries narrow the road and force drivers to slow down and be aware of pedestrian traffic.
The project also allows city officials to test proposed road changes.
"If a car has, you know, a big wide lane to drive in, they tend to drive faster sometimes with a little less attention," Espiau said. "A transportation project takes many years to do all the engineering and get all the permits to go in and more concrete. But this project we can do in less than a year."
For residents like Dora, a project that can prevent accidents is beautiful.
"Hopefully it helps because of the brightness and the color of the paintings," Espiau said.
Other counties like Maui County are also doing these types of painted curb extension projects. Officials there worked with Maui High School students last month at the intersection of Onehe'e Avenue and 'Uhu Street.
A creative and collaborative way for young people to help make their community safer.