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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, November 7, 2002

Kailua yard signs slowing speeders

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer

KAILUA — On a residential street plagued by speeding motorists, little green men are slowing traffic, but the people who live on Kainui Drive say more must be done to curb what they called a serious problem.

Neighbors purchased green figures to place in their yards to urge motorists on Kainui Drive to slow down. Residents are worried a child will be struck by speeding cars.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

Wild ducks, pets and automobiles have been struck by inattentive drivers in recent years, they say, and they fear that a child could be next.

Known as Duck Lane because of a large flock of ducks that once lived there, Kainui is a picturesque two-lane street with bike paths and a wide, grassy median lined with coconut palms.

Expansive front lawns add to the tranquility of the mile-long area, until a speeder roars by, exceeding the 25-mph limit.

But the ducks, once too numerous to count, have virtually disappeared, victims of careless, speeding drivers, said Kainui Street resident Kurt Teves.

"We were scraping them off the road on a daily basis," said Teves, who initiated a sign campaign two years ago, hoping to slow traffic after his pet was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Six weeks ago at Toys-R-Us he found the green signs shaped like little men with "slow" printed on their sides and handed them out to neighbors. Others joined his campaign and purchased more of the $20 figures.

"They've brought people together," he said. "They've got people talking."

Eight green men were scattered throughout the neighborhood yesterday .

"I notice people see it (the signs) and they slow down," said Ronnie Willkie, who regularly walks her baby on the street.

Kainui Drive residents say neighborhood ducks have become victims of careless drivers.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

Another resident agreed but said there is still a lot of speeding and he won't let his grandson play in the front yard because of that.

The situation is especially dangerous for children from two schools who use the road to get to their campuses at nearby Kainalu Elementary School and Kalaheo High School, Teves said. The coconut trees prevent drivers from seeing the children who walk in the median, he said.

Last month Teves and Craig Batchelder asked the Kailua Neighborhood Board for help. The board assigned the issue to its Transportation Committee, and Teves said the community will look into installing a traffic-calming device such as speed bumps.

Batchelder said he has asked the city to close Kainui Drive at Oneawa to reduce traffic and is seeking support from his neighbors.

He also wants stop signs at all intersection on Kainui and speed tables installed at four locations.

The neighborhood board has heard numerous complaints about speeding in residential communities and has submitted requests for traffic calming projects on Wana'ao Road and Mokapu Boulevard. A project near Maunawili Elementary School that included speed tables, a kind of speed bump, has earned praise, but residents complained about a project on Kihapai Street, which has medians placed at an angle to the road and planting curbs that jut out into the street.

Duane Samson, Kailua board member, said speeding on residential streets is a problem all over Kailua, but is especially bad on Kainui because people use it to bypass stalled traffic on Oneawa Street to reach the town center.