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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, February 11, 2002

Traffic sign replaced to end Hawai'i Kai 'confusion'

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

HAWAI'I KAI — When city crews put up a wrong sign recently, confusion reigned for motorists trying to make a left turn from Lunalilo Home Road onto Hawai'i Kai Drive in Mariner's Cove.

The sign allowed people turning left into the cove from Lunalilo Home Road to proceed when there was a green arrow and when the light was red, or so residents thought, said William Hamilton, a Mariner's Cove resident.

"It's been a constant confusion ever since they redid that lane there," said William Hamilton, a Mariner's Cove resident. "I turned left (on red) and got some strange looks from other motorists. It just doesn't make any sense."

The problems occurred early this month. But now that sign has been replaced with the original one that allows a left turn on a left arrow only.

As of Wednesday, all of the improvements were completed on the intersection, said Cheryl Soon, city Department of Transportation Services director.

"I'm not sure how it happened," Soon said. "That's why signs are so important."

The city presented its proposals to the Hawai'i Kai Neighborhood Board in August after residents complained that the road markings weren't long enough and that residents turning left into Mariner's Cove were stuck in the left lane until the light ran through its sequence.

Among the 10 changes that motorists will have to get used to is that in the mauka direction of Lunalilo Home Road cars can go straight and left into Mariner's Cove from the left lane.

These improvements are temporary, however, until the city has the money to bury sensors that will change the timing of the lights to eliminate traffic tieups. To alter the light sequence, however, the city is required to make the curbs at the intersection accessible to disabled people and that requires an additional nine months of engineering and about $35,000 per corner.