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Dangerous by Design

Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities can be prevented by improving our roads and trails.

May 15, 2014
Joe Bertram III - Kihei , Maui Weekly

The Hawai'i Bicycling League is proposing stiffer penalties for the auto driver to address the tragic death in the bike route on the Pi'ilani Highway.

But the main culprit is our dangerous road design. The Pi'ilani Highway is rated substandard because two lanes were expanded to four through restriping, while the wide shoulder for the bike route has practically disappeared. We must find ways to create the pedestri-an/bike-oriented community called for in our community plan.

We are not alone.

Smart Growth America and National Complete Streets Coalition will present and online event on Tuesday, May 20, called "Dangerous by Design," to address the national epidemic of pedestrian fatalities and successful community response. Register at

On Maui, we have two resources that can be used: our Complete Streets Task Force and our community plan open space master plan.

Complete Streets is my signature legislative accomplishment to require that all new roads be designed for safety for all users. The Kama'ole neighborhood is the best example in Kihei. Safety is the main criteria.

The safest bike/pedestrian system is separated. Our open space plan for an integrated network of trails creates that kind of system and preserves easy access to the natural experience. Walking and biking become pleasant and easy to incorporate as fundamental for transportation and recreation.

Our next focus can be the "Safe Routes to School" proposal for a trail system to the new Kihei high school under and along Pi'ilani Highway, which also creates linear parks along our main highway.

Please take part in the National Trails Day Celebration on Saturday, June 7, and "Dangerous by Design," on May 20 to learn more about dangerous road design and be a part of the solution.

Happy trails!



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