Thursday, January 11, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001

City installing signal after more pedestrians hit

By Robbie Dingeman and Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writers

Previous stories:
Wai'anae may get special crosswalk warning system
Similarities found in pedestrian accidents
2001 traffic toll reaches 3
Crosswalk fatalities show need for caution
The city is acting swiftly to install a pedestrian-activated traffic signal this morning on North King Street in Kalihi after two more elderly pedestrians were hit by a car there this week.

A 75-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman were crossing King Street near Peterson Lane on Tuesday when they were hit. Neither was critically injured.

But the accident, and the fact that an elderly resident died after being hit by a car in the same area in November, prompted the city’s quick decision yesterday to immediately install the light and have it turned on by tomorrow.

In the earlier accident, Taisi Fautanu, 68, was fatally injured while outside a crosswalk near Peterson Lane. His death rallied the community to call for increased safety measures.

Although the city more clearly marked the crosswalk and added flashing yellow lights, "the corrective measures we had taken still hadn’t made a difference," said City Transportation Services Director Cheryl Soon.

The city was able to move quickly to put in the traffic signal because it already had been studying ways to prevent further injuries on the busy four-lane thoroughfare, Soon said.

Unlike the North King Street project, it took the state more than a year to install a pedestrian-activated traffic signal on the Pali Highway at Jack Lane after an elderly woman was fatally hit while crossing the street in June 1999.

Four elderly pedestrians died in accidents in the first week of 2001, and 16 were killed last year.

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