LIHUE — A resolution was adopted Wednesday by the Kauai County Council to establish traffic modifications on a problematic street in Kilauea.
The council voted 7-0 in favor of establishing safe routes on Kamali‘i Street, Kahe Road, Kolo Road West, and East Momi Street in order to alleviate vehicle traffic concerns near a burgeoning pedestrian foot traffic area, mainly consisting of students walking to Kilauea School and bicyclists.
The resolution will prohibit school drop-off and pick-up activity on Kamali‘i Street and establish parking restrictions and aggressive lane modifications that have never been implemented in Hawaii before but have been adopted on the mainland.
The modifications will create a pedestrian and bike lane in conjunction with a two-way vehicle lane, with parking on both sides of the streets on Kamali‘i Road, which is a deadend street behind the school, and a single-vehicle traffic lane also on Kamali‘i Road with a pedestrian lane.
“And the public is OK with this unsafe method?” Councilman Arthur Brun said during the presentation on the resolution. “Sorry I struggle with the method…This is hard for me. Cars traveling and I know if you’re pulling out, and we have bicycles and pedestrians and the two sets of cars.”
Michael Moule, engineer with the county’s Public Works division and an avid cyclist, disagreed that it was an unsafe method.
“That is how this design is anticipated,” Moule said. “That is how it was proposed by the public.”
The changes will take effect at the end of the school year.
The council heard testimony from six Kilauea residents in favor of the resolution before casting a unanimous vote to make it official.
Public input was sought throughout the resolution process, including a community meeting and pizza party to get the opinions of older students no longer at the Kilauea School.
Tim Terrazas,a Kauai Fire Department firefighter from Kilauea, and said it boils down to a simple fact: “With the over development that has taken place in Kilauea town as of late, because of the state and the county’s inability or refusal to deal with the whole Kolo Road, Kilauea Road fiasco, it’s making all the other, smaller streets in Kilauea more dangerous,” said Terrazas, who had a daughter struck by a vehicle in the area in 2005.
“When they first started this shopping center development, they promised the community that they were going to go ahead and add another road in and out of Kilauea town. That was supposed to be the one that was connected to the post office,” he said.
The shopping center was built and development ensued and no road was ever built.
“They turned around and told the community, ‘sorry, no road,’” Terrazas said. “All the smaller roads around Kilauea town are getting more dangerous.”
Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story has been edited to correct attributions to Michael Moule.