Speeders snub East Honolulu pleas
By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Bureau
WAI'ALAE IKI Speeders on Laukahi Street in East Honolulu have rammed into parked cars, walls, trees, gates and even pets.
Their speed is causing havoc and is a major issue for the neighborhood's Community-Traffic Awareness Partnership, or C-TAP, program. As part of the program, residents stand on the street with signs warning drivers to slow down, and police issue warnings to speeders.
In February, 10 speeders were pulled over and warned during a C-TAP, according to police. One motorist was clocked driving 45 in a 25 mph zone.
But each time police leave or the community stops waving signs, the speeders are back, said Police Capt. Scott Foster.
City transportation officials and the Wai'alae Iki Community Association will meet to collect information from the community about areas on Wai'alae Iki where speeding is especially a concern. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at 'Aina Haina Public Library.
"It's a steep street," Foster said. "Traffic calming measures are probably a good way to slow people down other than police sitting there 24-seven monitoring."
It takes a lot of discipline to keep a car at the posted 25 mph, said Gerry Ching, a member of the Wai'alae Iki Community Association. The road is wide and is banked to keep cars going smoothly, she said.
"People are crazy and as soon as they're cited, they're getting back in their cars and speeding up again. ... It's everyone, including the reasonable, middle-age people who are speeding," Ching said. "We're looking for solutions."
Communities around the island are looking at ways to slow traffic.
The city's solution has been to install roundabouts at busy intersections and to hold community meetings.
Councilman John Henry Felix, who represents East Honolulu and parts of Windward O'ahu, requested the meeting with transportation officials, said Brandon Yamamoto, Felix's legislative aide.
"It will be up to residents and the planners to figure out what measure (to slow traffic) can be put in," Yamamoto said. "The planners want the input from the community on what areas the speeding is occurring."
Mel Yap, a Laukahi Street resident and member of the Kuliou'ou-Kalani'iki Neighborhood Board, said speeding is a problem most of the day and night.
"If I lived at the top, I probably wouldn't be moseying up or down to get to places," Yap said. "It's hard to tell how fast people are driving, but sometimes it seems the cars are zipping along like a quasi-interstate."
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the time of a transportation meeting to address speeding in Wai'alae Iki Ridge. The meeting is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the 'Aina Haina Public Library.