HNN: “DOT proposes changes to improve highway safety in Waianae”

Sunday, August 13th 2017, 5:48 pm HST By Jobeth Devera, Reporter

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The state Department of Transportation is proposing to make several safety improvements along Farrington Highway, including eliminating and relocating some bus stops and crosswalks.

The two bus stops and unsignalized crosswalk near Black Rocks Beach in Nanakuli are on the list.

Resident Zelda Kaeo says removing them will only encourage more jaywalking.

“This is the first crosswalk coming into Nanakuli,” said resident Zelda Kaeo. “It’s been here for years and years. Now we’re going to have to walk all the way to the traffic light just to come back to this beach.”

Down near Sack N Save, two more heavily-used bus stops would be removed and relocated about 200 yards to Lualualei Naval Road.

Some say it will be an inconvenience.

“They should not move them because everyone uses this spot and everyone knows this spot, it’s a safe spot right here,” said Nanakuli resident Preston Pastor.

The DOT says the changes will help improve overall safety along the Farrington corridor.

About 13 unsignalized crosswalks that are deemed too risky will be removed, while other crosswalks like the ones at Jade Street and Water Street, will be enhanced.

Officials plan to add extra signage and flashing beacons, something the Leeward Coast community has requested for years.

“When there’s no signal, it’s so hard to see and a lot of times you’re looking at the car in front of you and looking ahead and not realizing there’s a pedestrian there,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro whose districts includes Waianae and Makaha.

Shimabukuro is an avid bus rider herself and supports the changes.

“The bottom line is you’re going to have to walk further to get to your bus stop or crosswalk,” she said. “I know it’s going to be difficult for the public to swallow and I’m sure there will be opposition, but I think if you have to balance inconvenience with saving a life, you’re going to choose the latter, no question.”

The public has until August 31st to provide feedback on the proposed changes between Pohakunui Ave. and Hakimo Road and until October 5th on the proposed changes between Hakimo Road and Kili Drive.

Contact your neighborhood board leaders or DOT directly through or by phone at 808-587-2160.

Click on this link to view the proposed traffic safety improvements:

Here is a link to the news story:

Update on Use of Emergency Access Roads During Road Work & Parallel Route

Policy-makers met to discuss a parallel route from around Series 7 to Lualualei Naval Road. L-R: Jimmy Hamada (Rep. Gabbard’s office), Craig Chun (City DTS), Sen. Shimabukuro, Ed Sniffen (DOT), Rep. Gates, Julie Cachola (DHHL), and Jeffrey Fujimoto (DHHL).

Maile 032914AThe first week back to school was a rough one. Multiple lane closures due to road work on Farrington Highway coupled with back to school traffic created a traffic nightmare. Eventually, DOT stopped the lane closures for two weeks, and will go through a process to try and get an exception to allow for use of the Waianae Coast emergency access road (WCEAR) for road work, including contacting the surrounding neighbors.

Many community members urged lawmakers to push to allow more frequent use of WCEAR for road work, etc. As background, when WCEAR was built, the private landowners and community were adamant that they only be used for emergencies. Looking forward, I have asked the Neighborhood Board to introduce a resolution supporting use of the WCEAR extension we are building to connect Helelua Street to the Nanakuli Homesteads, for road work lane closures. We want to try and make this happen, but are already getting push back for building the road just for emergencies.

I know it would be preferable to have WCEAR go above the homesteads, but unfortunately that is not something that can happen in the near-term. I also understand where some opponents are coming from. But practically every community along Farrington Highway has an emergency access road running through it except the Nanakuli Homestead. So if you as a Nanakuli homesteader personally happen to be in Makaha one day and an emergency strikes, you could drive through emergency access roads in Makaha, Waianae, Sea Country, Mailiilii, Paakea, Lualualei Naval Road, Helelua, etc. I know that none of those communities look forward to having more cars drive through their neighborhoods, but it’s a sacrifice we all make for the sake of the greater good.

DHHL has a fiduciary duty to care for Nanakuli homesteaders of course, but they also have the same responsibility for Princess Kahanu, Waianae Kai, and Waianae Valley homesteaders who need to get through Nanakuli in times of emergency. As we saw with the water main break, the “bridge to nowhere” is an insufficient solution in and of itself.

We are also trying to build a “parallel route” that would be open all the time from around Series 7 to Lualualei Naval Road. It would be a series of roads and bridges connecting existing roads. We know that most of you would prefer a bypass road like H-3, but that is a long-term solution that is not likely to happen for decades. We are trying to come up with a more immediate solution in the meantime. But again, we need community support for any of this to become a reality.

We lawmakers have been tasked to come up with an expeditious solution for the greater good. I hope you will consider supporting use of the WCEAR extension for road work, as well as a “parallel route,” so that we can avoid the anguish that so many drivers suffered during this first week of school.

Mahalo for the privilege of serving you. Contact me with your questions or concerns at 586-7793.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro
District 21
(Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Ma`ili, Wai`anae, Makaha, Makua)
State Capitol, Room 222
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-7793 phone
808-586-7797 facsimile
Facebook: Like Me
Twitter: @SenMaile

Senator Maile Shimabukuro on Removing Airbag Requirement

Ben Gutierrez, “DOT considers removing airbag requirement in vehicle safety checks,” Hawaii News Now, 11 Aug.2017.

The state Department of Transportation is proposing eliminating the airbag requirement in motor vehicle inspections. It’s a move that has the support of some experienced auto mechanics, who say the airbags do more harm than good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says frontal airbags have reduced driver fatalities by 29 percent. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly 290 people were killed by airbags, most of them in vehicles manufactured before 1998.

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“If — and that’s a big word — if airbags were safe, why does it hurt and kill children?” asked longtime auto mechanic George Nitta. He’s convicted that airbags cause more injury in a crash.

“Have you seen someone who got slammed with an air bag? One of my customers did, and I looked at her and she looked like somebody slammed her in the face with a board,” said Nitta.

The state’ current administrative rules on motor vehicle safety inspections say that if a vehicle is equipped with frontal airbags, they must be fully functional.

“They want the right to be able to remove an airbag, if you have it in your car, because they feel — many people that it’s not safe,” said state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, who’s on the senate Transportation Committee. She’s heard from those auto mechanics. And she’s also concerned about the recalls of airbags manufactured by Takata, which has been sued because of exploding airbags.

“I think that’s kinda led to some of the concerns whether this should really be required or optional,” she said.

The state DOT said it’s now reviewing a proposed amendment to the rules that would no longer require airbags. After the review is completed, the change will be posted on its website and public hearings will be held.

We asked Nitta if no longer having that requirement would allow a car’s owner to disable its airbags.

“Right, right,” he replied. “I recommend it.”

State considers removing air bag requirement from vehicle safety checks

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Published: August 11, 2017, 4:50 pm  Updated: August 11, 2017, 6:59 pm (KHON2 News)

Air bags are designed to save your life, but should you be required to have them in your car?

KHON2 has learned that the Hawaii Department of Transportation is exploring the possibility of eliminating the air bag requirement from safety checks.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but the administration is currently reviewing an amendment to the Hawaii Administrative Rules.

Once the review is complete, the transportation department will conduct public hearings on the proposed changes.

You’ll have 30 days to let them know if you think it’s a good idea or not.

One Hawaii mechanic has already written to state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, D, Kalaeloa, Waianae, Makaha, saying he’s seen how dangerous airbags can be, and he doesn’t think drivers should be forced to have one if they don’t want to.

“He says there’s a requirement where he has to tell people that he must install air bags, and he’s really torn about it, because he’s seen incidents where he’s seen it’s been harmful, so he really feels he shouldn’t be forcing people to get the air bag, that it should be an option,” Shimabukuro said. “If the consumer wants one fine, but not to force them to have an air bag, so I believe that’s what DOT is now willing to consider.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, frontal air bags reduced driver fatalities by 29 percent, and fatalities of front-seat passengers by 30 percent.

However, air bags were also estimated to have caused more than 290 deaths between 1990 and 2008 in low-speed crashes.

Again, this is all still under review, and the public would be allowed to comment before any changes become permanent.

Civil Beat: The Fight To Save Ancient Hawaiian Archeological Sites

The following story appeared in Honolulu Civil Beat, written by Blaze Lovell:

Glen Kila’s family has defended parts of the Waianae Coast from development for generations. The family traces its genealogy to the aboriginal inhabitants of the area.

They consider one of their most sacred sites to have been under threat by foreign developers and mainland owners since the 1980s.

Now, luxury developments in nearby Makaha have spawned a new round of worries that this area in Kea’au Valley, known as Ohikilolo, may face a similar fate if nothing is done to preserve the land.

More than 600 acres of former ranchland in Ohikilolo have been eyed at various times as a possible landfill, golf course and luxury subdivision.

What is so important about this valley?

Drivers passing by the ranchland just off Farrington Highway see just trees and possibly some cows grazing in a field. But beneath the brush hides the densest collection of archeological sites on the island, according to an archeological study conducted in 1992.

The study was originally done for a proposed golf course, and researchers recorded 461 sites in just 60 acres of the valley. What may look like piles of rocks to some people are actually the remains of a once-vibrant community that existed more than 1,500 years before the time of Kamehameha I.

Kila, a former teacher and principal on the Waianae Coast, is spearheading a movement to turn Ohikilolo into an area for kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians) to practice their culture as well as a place for the public to learn about that culture.

“There’s a lot of history that hasn’t been shared … right now we are releasing it so that we can protect the land,” Kila said.

Other community members, including state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, are on board with the idea of trying to preserve Ohikilolo.

Most of the land is owned by the Pickering family of Arizona, and any push toward creating a state conservation district in Ohikilolo would require approval by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and cooperation from the family.

One of the family members, Tim Pickering, told Civil Beat that there are currently no plans to develop the area.

As a first step, community members have asked Shimabukuro to request that the state conduct a study that not only considers the archeological sites in the area, but also analyzes how those sites relate to Hawaiian culture. Such a study could be used to recommend the property to the National Registry of Historic Places.

Sacred Lands

The aboriginal families of the Waianae Coast considered Ohikilolo to be part of Kanehunamoku — the sacred lands of Kane, the Hawaiian sun deity. They believe that in this valley, the first human, La’ila’i, was born. In the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation story, La’ila’i becomes the mother of the Hawaiian race.

Ohikilolo and the rest of the Kea’au Valley represent a complete ahupua’a, a land district stretching from the mountains to the sea.

Residents of each ahupua’a depended on the others for survival. Coastal dwellers would often trade their fish to valley residents for taro or sweet potatoes, for instance.

“It was a living community made of Native Hawaiians that took care of the land,” Kila said.

In Ohikilolo, the people adhered to the concept of Ka’anani’au — meaning to manage the beauty of time — that regulated land areas through wet and dry seasons.

Kila says the archeological sites could demonstrate the interplay between Native Hawaiian religion and culture. The 1992 study found tools for agriculture and fishing, rock piles that may have once been heiau (Hawaiian temples), foundations for dwellings and walls to divert water for farming.

“The archaeological remains here may be the last representative of a complete prehistoric settlement system on leeward Oahu,” the report said.

After being deeded to a servant of Kamehameha I, spending much of its history as a ranch, and getting glances from a Japanese corporation for a golf course and the city for a dump, parts of Ohikilolo became the property of the Pickerings.

Residents On The Lookout

Cynthia Rezentes, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board chairwoman, said possible development in Ohikilolo by the Pickerings has been an issue for seven years. In 2007, Robert Pickering acquired 735 acres of land in Ohikilolo and the surrounding area for $3.8 million, according to property documents.

Around 2010, the Pickerings first had the idea to put a luxury housing development on the property, Rezentes said.

Tim Pickering told Civil Beat that the land was never developed because he couldn’t find any investors nor could he negotiate retrofitting the area with roads and adding sewer lines. Pickering hasn’t filed for any building permits or conditional use permits on the agricultural land.

Residents were worried when they recently found a $3.5 million real estate listing from Chaney Brooks & Co. for the 60 acres that includes most of the archeological sites, but representatives of the real estate company told Civil Beat that the listing is from about six years ago and the property is no longer on the market.

In the time that Pickering had the property on the market, even creating a website to try to sell it himself, he only had one person who ever contacted him about it, but that “faded pretty fast,” he said.

“It’s just staying the way it is,” Pickering said. Development “wouldn’t happen for a long time if it happens at all.”

In March, residents worried that Makaha La, another development, would stretch into Ohikilolo.

But Tom Tisher, a real estate agent working with Makaha La, said that the new subdivision would be in Makaha, not Ohikilolo.

The potential for development of Ohikilolo still troubles some community members.

“It’s a waiting game to see whether or not they want to package something again,” Rezentes said. “But they need the draw. If you can get investors to tap into something like this you can potentially build something.”

Hiking To A Temple

On a recent weekend, Chris Oliveira took a small group of hikers up a Makaha hillside to a sacred site. The people of Waianae have traditionally been stubborn, said Oliveira, Kila’s nephew.

In fact, while other Hawaiians were converting to Protestantism, many who lived in Waianae became Catholic. Stories tell of the people’s ancestors being so bold as to call the fire goddess Pele a malihini — a foreigner, he said.

From the road, the hillside wouldn’t necessarily catch anyone’s eye. But the terraces are actually man-made retaining walls stacked to create a temple out of the mountain.

Hawaiians “believed that the preservation of land is more important than the ambitions of man,” Oliveira said. “You see constructions that add to the already natural surroundings … Who could build a bigger temple than this?”

The temple has been ravaged by time and desecrated by a large water pipe that once ran across the hill, Oliveira said.

Next to the temple is a large solar farm covering burial sites and petroglyphs.

A solar farm and other military developments such as the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station and U.S. Army practice range in Makua Valley are just a few in a long line of developments that have covered up the history of  the Waianae Coast, Kila said.

In World War II, the beach fronting Pokai Bay became a recreational center for military officers.

Kila’s relatives once owned portions of that land and refused to leave. They were onipa’a, he said — stubborn. When they resisted, the military shut off their water and electricity and moved them away in trucks.

In the 1960s, much of the coast was designated for hotel developments. Many landowners, including Kila’s family, stood to gain financially if they sold out to would-be hotel and condo builders, Kila said.

Pokai Bay was supposed to become a yacht harbor for residents who would have moved into condos along the coast. The development would have destroyed a heiau that is still used for cultural practices and ceremonies today, Kila said.

Kila’s family went door to door along the coast to convince property owners, as well as legislators who originally backed developers, to block the proposals. It worked. Now, the only buildings near Pokai Bay are the military recreational center, several small home and one apartment building.

The World As A Canoe

When Kila was being taught by his elders, no videotaping or even writing was allowed. Stories, prayers and chants needed to be remembered and passed on orally.

In addition, public sharing of their cultural  practices was forbidden.

They were even reluctant to reveal the location of many sites for fear they would be destroyed.

He’s more open now, however, and wants to fight further development by educating the public on the cultural significance of different areas.

“We believe that by preserving Ohikilolo, not developing it, and expanding it as an educational system, the whole world can learn about who we are as human beings and our relationship with the ‘aina,” Kila said.

Kila and Oliveira run the Marae Ha’a Koa, a cultural learning center in Waianae. Its focus is the “preservation and perpetuation of the rich cultural heritage of the Waianae Coast,” according to its website.

Oliveira has taken the helm of education efforts on culture and regularly takes community members to historic sites. He also has authored several children’s books on Native Hawaiian culture.

Kila said his kuleana, or responsibility, is to pass on his knowledge; Oliveira’s is to spread, chronicle and contextualize it.

In the 1992 study, researchers recommended that the area surveyed in Ohikilolo should be recommended to the National Registry of Historic Places. The study was only done on about 60 acres of the Pickerings’ land, and some community members think more archeological sites exist in other areas of the valley.

To eventually protect the entirety of the valley, Kila has suggested the state conduct a Traditional Cultural Properties study.

TCPs go beyond analyzing physical features and include the cultural significance of an area.

Shimabukuro said she will contact the Historic Preservation Division of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to see what can be done to begin the TCP process. Community members have requested that she also ask for access to Ohikilolo for cultural practices.

Shimabukuro, who has been involved with preserving Ohikilolo since earlier this year, said that eventually she, and others in the community, want the land to be designated as a conservation district.

The state law  for creating a conservation subzone in Ohikilolo includes cooperating with the landowner as well as creating maps and conducting additional studies of the area, according to state documents. Because of its archeological sites, Ohikilolo could be eligible for the highest conservation subzone, protective, which would effectively ban most development there.

“This world is one canoe. If we jump up and down in a canoe, it hulis. It turns over, and we all perish,” Kila said. “We can’t have people hurting it or one group of people jumping up and down and turn the world into nothingness.”

Nanakuli Turn Lane Update

The Nanakuli turn lane is still on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Here is a project status update:


Construction Phase

NTP Date: 11/10/14

Percent Complete: 56%

Cost: $ 13.6 Mil



Other Information

Project Number: STP-093-1(22)

Starting Milepost: 4.85

Ending Milepost: 5.64

Point of Contact: SAMUEL ROMBAOA

Here is information regarding a link to learn about other HDOT projects:
On Jul 20, 2017, at 3:47 PM, Sniffen, Edwin H <> wrote:
Aloha Senators and Representatives:
DOT Highways has recently included project status data on the DOT Website. This data includes all projects to be delivered into construction in the next 2 years. The data is open to the public and is accessible at the following link:
or through the DOT website, hit home tab, Highways, Major Projects, and Project Map.
A map showing lines on our transportation system will allow the viewer to locate projects along the federal highway system. Alternatively, the viewer can click on the “View a PDF list of Projects by Area” tab located on the right side of the screen. This will allow the viewer to view all projects in a list format. 
This is our first roll out of the information, and we will continue to add content to the page. If you would like information on a project you don’t see, have questions about the site, or have suggestions to make it better please feel free to email me.

8/17/17 — Huliko‘a Kaiāulu Scholar Speaker Series — 5:30pm

The following announcement comes from Kamehameha Schools:

Aloha kākou,

Since 2014, Huliko‘a Kaiāulu has provided 40 presenters the opportunity to share their manaʻo, research, and future plans with this community. Over 1100 people have come to learn and be inspired by their mo‘olelo and educational journeys. This year, in the spirit of continuing the message of Mālama Honua and honoring Hōkūle’a, our topics and presentations will revolve around navigation and wayfinding.

Join us on Thursday, August 17 @ 5:30 p.m. to hear from Kainani Kahaunaele, Ānuenue Punua, Kēhau Enos, and Bonnie Kahapeʻa. They will each share the direct impact of traditional Polynesian navigation and the teachings of Grand Master Navigator Pius Mau Piailug on their lives as women voyagers. All of them have used the teachings of Papa Mau and their own personal voyaging experiences as guiding stars in their families, lifestyles, careers, and communities.

Through education each of these women have spread Mau teachings in classrooms, through music, hula, outdoor hands on educational programs and much more.

Join us as they share original musical compositions, hula, and stories of their journeys since sailing with Papa Mau 18 years ago and waʻa related educational opportunities.

Don’t forget to check out the Kamehameha Schools YouTube channel for past speaker’s videos: Huliko‘a Kaiāulu Playlist.

To help us prepare for these events, RSVP by calling 670-2045 or e-mailing Please feel free to forward this message to others.

Huliko‘a Kaiāulu, “Explorations of the Kaiāulu breeze”, is brought to you by Kamehameha Schools, INPEACE, and UH Hawaiinuiākea.

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