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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 2, 2006

Kailua speed sign was wrong

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Q. I'm wondering if an incorrect sign was put up on Hamakua Drive in Kailua, which has always been 25 mph. A couple of weeks ago, a 30 mph sign was installed for a very short stretch. It sure seems like it should be 25 mph the entire length of Hamakua heading toward Kailua town, rather than encouraging people to increase speed for such a short distance. Speeding on Hamakua is a huge problem as it is; we don't want people going even faster.

A. You caught a mistake that has been corrected because of your e-mail. City Transportation Services Deputy Director Alfred Tanaka said Coluccio Construction Co., which has been working on a sewer project on Hamakua Drive, had installed the 30 mph sign. Tanaka said last week they took it down and replaced it with the right speed sign.

Q. Why are there so few brightly colored new high-visibility signs along Farrington Highway from Pili o Kahe Beach Park to Makaha Valley Road where there are four lanes with lots of traffic going fast? Some crosswalks have signs the older yellow-orange color in both directions, some before the crosswalk, some at the crosswalk, some only on one side of the highway. Most disturbing is that some have NO sign.

A. Some of those signs are scheduled to be replaced soon, state Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said. After he got a copy of your letter, he said, "we'll have a crew go out and survey the entire stretch of Farrington to check on adequate signage along the Leeward Coast."

Ishikawa said the state is completing a $7.8 million Farrington Highway safety improvements project that began at the end of 2004.

As part of the work, "we already restriped all of the highway crosswalks and lane markers from Nanakuli to Kaena Point State Park."

He said the plan calls for replacing the crosswalk signs along Farrington Highway near Wai'anae Intermediate and High Schools with brighter ones by next month and they also will check on the other locations in your letter and add new ones if needed. "We're also in the process of adding highway lighting near Wai'anae High to increase visibility at night," he said.

Although it's not part of your question, Ishikawa noted that the most visible traffic change along that highway is the mile-long median barrier between Ma'ili and Nanakuli. He said you can see by the fresh dent in the barrier that it has already prevented one vehicle from crossing over into oncoming traffic.

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Reach Robbie Dingeman at rdingeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.