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County takes quick action on dangerous crosswalk

By Staff | May 9, 2019

A close call – nearly being hit by a car – prompted Lahaina resident Kirk Boes to act on a dangerous situation.

He explained, “I was almost hit by a car as I was walking on the sidewalk near the bottom of Lahainaluna Road recently. It’s not the first time. Near the Kuhua Street intersection there is a produce market, where the customers routinely drive their cars across the sidewalk.

“A driver came right at me as I was exiting the crosswalk and stepping onto the sidewalk. He was driving down the sidewalk while looking back over his shoulder the opposite direction. I was able to get out of the way, but it’s a dangerous situation that happens far too often. That crosswalk needs repainting badly, too. The public school bus and Maui bus both stop right there.”

Boes checked with a policeman, who told him it’s illegal to park on the sidewalk. To spur action on the issue, the officer recommended writing a letter to Lahaina News and the county.

He wrote West Maui County Councilwoman Tamara Paltin, who contacted the county Highways Division.

Paltin agreed that the crosswalk at Lahainaluna and Kuhua Street needs to be re-striped. She also asked the department to consider including flashing crosswalks at this busy location.

County officials replied that the crosswalk will be re-striped, a missing street sign will be replaced, the county will look into the market’s access and driving on the sidewalk, and the crosswalk is being evaluated for flashing beacons to alert drivers.

After nearly being hit, Boes was worried about a tragedy occurring at the crosswalk.

“Hopefully, someone sees this and takes action soon, before some Keiki or Kupuna get hurt, or worse,” Boes wrote.

Credit everyone involved for quickly addressing a safety issue.