Kailua road work targets speeders
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward OÎahu Writer
KAILUA Three years after traffic-calming measures were first sought for Kihapai Street in Coconut Grove, workers have begun installing features intended to reduce speeding by making drivers think the road is narrower than it is.
The striping and bulbouts light bulb-shaped planting areas that protrude into the street are meant to create the illusion that the street is narrow, which usually slows drivers down, said Libby Tomar, with the Coconut Grove Community Association. Tomar is a member of the planning committee that worked with the city on the project.
"Its a visual trick," Tomar said, adding that some of the striping will encourage people to park on the road rather than on the sidewalk.
A speed table will be in front of Sunshine School, and a median for pedestrians will be installed near Kihapai Place, she said. About every 100 feet the city will install bulbouts, planted with fan palms.
"They are creating a curve in the road where there is no curve," Tomar said. The curve will be between Hooulu and Kaha streets. Right now, "people look at it (Kihapai) as if it were a drag strip," Tomar said.
People she has contacted along the one-mile project are glad that something is being done, she said, but at least two residents were concerned about reduced parking on the road. Between 10 and 15 spaces will be lost, Tomar said.
"A bulbout takes out two stalls," said Colleen Sanchez, who lives on Kihapai and generally likes the intention of the project to slow traffic. "Parking is not so bad for me, but it will be harder for others."
Sanchez said she hopes the new measures will stop big trucks from using the road and discourage motorists from using the street as a cut-through to reach Kailua Road.
Ed Pihana, a Kihapai resident, said he wished the city had advised him about the project before proceeding.
"If they did notify me, I would have said no," Pihana said, adding that speed humps or more police presence would have solved the speeding problem, which he said he isn't sure even exists.
"I don't see a speeding problem, but there's definitely going to be a parking problem," he said.
Reach Eloise Aguiar at email@example.com