Nu'uanu gets rid of rumble strips
By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Transportation Writer
Sets Oyama can hear the birds again, now that the thundering noise made by the Pali Highway rumble strips is gone.
Workers using sledgehammers broke the plastic rumble strips into pieces and swept the pieces away within a matter of hours yesterday, ending a six-month saga that saw them installed, modified and finally obliterated.
In the end, the state spent more than $20,000 on the project, but it was not money wasted, state Transportation Director Rod Haraga said yesterday.
"We did what we set out to do, making drivers more aware about the problem of speeding in the area," Haraga said.
The rumble strips and other safety improvements contributed to a 5- to 7-mph drop in traffic speed along the 1.3-mile stretch of highway where more than a half-dozen people have been killed and hundreds injured in the last 10 years.
However, the Nu'uanu Neighborhood Board voted last month to have the rumble strips removed, acknowledging complaints from dozens of residents who said the noise was intolerable.
Oyama, who lives in a home close to the strips and could hear the noise reverberate through her house day and night, threw open her window yesterday afternoon and listened to something she hadn't heard in months: the peace and quiet of an old Nu'uanu neighborhood.
"Oh, I'm so glad," she said. "It's delightful. I can hear the birds again."
Haraga said state officials and local residents are still worried about traffic safety in the residential neighborhood and will continue to use other methods in an attempt to deter speeding, such as using more speed-monitoring mechanical signs and encouraging more police enforcement efforts.
Reach Mike Leidemann at 525-5460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.