Waikomo Road project deferred again

LIHUE — A resolution aimed at improving pedestrian safety on Waikomo Road in Koloa was once again deferred in committee by the Kauai Council Wednesday, pushing its next date for discussion to Sept. 28.

County officials requested the initial deferral in May to gain traffic information of the area.

“It’s the summer break and students are out of school,” said Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer for Kauai County. “So part of it is to gather more data, which we were asked to, but we couldn’t do it with school out.”

The Safe Routes to School Project aims to create crosswalks, striped pedestrian walkways and intersection modifications on Waikomo Road, which would convert a portion of the road into a one-way street from Kapau Road to a location 50 feet east of Poipu Road.

Community members expressed frustration over the second deferral.

“I understood that during the last two months that was given over to the deferral from May to now,” said Sam Lee of Koloa. “When it came out for the agenda (today), I assumed it was for action.”

Mariann Tabuchi, Waikomo Road resident, said she’s in favor of making Waikomo safer for pedestrians.

“The best solution in my eyes would be a concrete sidewalk, but at this point we’ll take what we can get,” she said. “Unfortunately, there are many people who utilize Waikomo. It’s unfortunate there aren’t pedestrian safety measures.”

Norma Doctor Sparks, who was born and raised in Koloa, also expressed her frustration.

“It was clear there’s enough of us that requested administration to do more study and to also gather more data, and they have not done so,” she said. “I’m concerned that we will go another two months.”

Julie Souza of Koloa said pedestrian safety should be focused on Koloa Road and keep Waikomo Road as it is.

“For the safety of the children, there should be a walkway from Koloa Road to Maluhia to the park,” she said.

Housing and Transportation Committee Chair JoAnn Yukimura said the real need is to reduce car traffic in the Koloa-Poipu area.

Lee Steinmetz, Planning Department transportation planner, said officials need to post another community meeting, perhaps in August, to notify the entire Koloa community.

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