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Pedestrians and runners should use streets safely

December 8, 2011
The Maui Weekly

Can you please publish some kind of instruction manual for all the snowbirds on how to cross the South Kihei Road properly after sunset without relying on a flashlight?

Last week, I had witnessed a minor fender-bender on South Kihei Road after sunset. An elderly tourist couple was crossing the street in the crosswalk by Charles Young Beach parking lot. Instead of waiting for both lanes to be cleared, the couple started to cross the street when one lane was clear, waving a flashlight around, forcing an SUV to stop quickly in the other lane. The car behind the SUV tried to stop, too, but ended up rear-ending the SUV.

A few days later, I had dropped off a friend to work in Wailea before sunrise. I had passed The Wailea at Shops heading towards Kihei, when I saw a guy running on the street against "traffic" going toward Makena waving a flashlight.

As an experienced pedestrian and runner, I know the safest thing to do is to: 1. Always assume the driver doesn't see you. 2. Be as visible as possible. Wear white, reflective clothing or red light buttons. Don't use a flashlight. 3. When crossing the street, make sure both lanes/all lanes are clear before crossing. 4. Don't run on the street unless there is a shoulder a lane. Running on the street creates a more stressful situation for drivers, even if it is 5:30 a.m. and hardly anyone is on the road.

Teresa Koepke Kihei



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