Letters for Thursday, April 12, 2012

• Dangerous intersection • Kindness at airport • Praise for police officers • Tinted windows

Dangerous intersection

This is excerpted from a letter I am sending to the Department of Transportation:

I finally feel compelled to write, concerning the dangerous situation at the intersection of Kuhio Highway and Kahili Makai Street near Kilauea, because this is clearly a major public safety issue that needs to be addressed ASAP.

Vehicles regularly pass on the right — illegally, using the shoulder of the highway — often at speeds approaching 50 mph, swerving around the vehicles which have slowed or stopped, waiting to turn.

Frequently while in the vicinity I have heard screeching tires, as drivers swerve to pass at the last second.

I have personally been rear-ended once (resulting in the other car being totaled).

I know at least two other people in the past few years who have been rear-ended at speeds approaching 50 mph, one of whom was on a motorcycle and had to be hospitalized.

I hope to see this issue addressed before someone dies at this intersection, rather than after.

Instead, much to my dismay, during recent road work on this intersection, the workers exacerbated the situation by widening the shoulder of the road at that point, seemingly in order to invite traffic to pass, on the right, at or near full speed, in a 50 mph zone, on a blind curve — which I’m also concerned would make the DOT and other parties liable for further accidents.

Please let me know if there is anything more I or other concerned citizens can do to help in seeing this rectified. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important safety issue.

Sky Roversi-Deal, Kilauea

Kindness at airport

I am back home in Tacoma , Wash., after visiting your beautiful island.  I miss Kaua‘i  so much already.

 It was the perfect place for my first trip to Hawai‘i. I loved the flowers, the vegetation, and even the chickens.  I must tell you that the roosters are a little” time confused.”

They kept crowing at all hours of the day. I always thought that roosters crowed at daybreak to wake everyone up, but I was wrong.  I loved them anyway.

 We had a very exhausting journey, due to United changing our plane schedule.

 I was sitting on the bench at (the airport) about 10 p.m. on April 1, waiting for my friend to get the rental car, when two ladies came up to me.

One was the lady whose job is to welcome people with a lei. The other lady was an airport employee. They found out I did not feel very well.

I am 73 years old, and this trip was hard on me, getting up at 3 a.m., traveling all day and all night.

The airport employee offered to give me her sandwich, which she had brought from home for her dinner. She also gave me a flower, which I wrapped and brought home with me, for my coffee table.  The other lady was very kind, and told me she loves her welcoming job.

I felt so much better, knowing someone cared about me. They were wonderful.

I hope they get to read this. I look forward to coming to Kaua‘i again.

Jill Rogers, Lakewood, Wash.

Praise for police officers

I just have to write this for my fellow Kauaians. There may be controversy surrounding the mayor and police chief about just exactly where the limits of power lay.

But, there is something more important: the officers.

Time and time again, I have heard salty words about “the cops.” No more for me. I won’t listen to generalizations.

I had a concern for some neighbors and the recent flood. I flagged down a police car, the officer listened to my concerns and immediately acted on it.

Later, he took the time to phone me and tell me what actions had been taken. It was a relief. I feel like putting the officer up for commendation.

He listened,  and he called back.

We are lucky to have them.   

Jay Dorrance, Kealia

Tinted windows

Motor vehicles are a major obstacle to pedestrians and bicyclists on Kaua‘i.

There are minimum shoulder and sidewalk areas where bicyclists and pedestrians can feel safe; therefore, it is most important to maintain eye contact with drivers, especially crossing intersections with no signals or crosswalks.

Most cars and pick-up trucks on Kaua‘i these days have tinted windows and are running AC, with all windows rolled up, making it impossible to establish eye contact for a right of way from a bicyclist’s or pedestrian’s vantage point.

The reason many have tinted windshields is so law enforcement cannot see them texting, talking on cell phones, no seat-belts, or at times smoking pot and consuming alcohol  while driving.

Those with tinted windows as a common courtesy should at least drive with windows open in populated bicycle and pedestrian areas.

Tinted windshields are as much a problem as any other traffic violation.

It’s imperative that law enforcement start ticketing for windshields that are too dark to see the driver.

Otherwise, we are sure to see future injury and deaths.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa’a

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