Mayor Kenoi, PATH to Plan Pedestrian Safety in Wake of Latest Tragedy

Only a week after 79-year-old Tomiko K. Shimazu was killed in a Hilo crosswalk as she attempted to cross the road, Mayor Kenoi will bring key members of his cabinet together with Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH) and other traffic safety advocates to complete a comprehensive Pedestrian Safety Action Plan for Hawaii County.

The plan will be drafted over three full days, Tuesday through Thursday this week, by leaders of the Mayor’s Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Planning Departments, the county Corporation Counsel, Civil Defense and Hawaii Police departments, along with advocates from the non-profit bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization PATH and other community leaders.

The three-day workshop will be led by Fred Rank, a traffic engineer from the Federal Highway Administration, and John LaPlante, an engineer with global engineering firm T.Y. Lin International. These key stakeholders will identify steps that county leadership, community organizations and others can take to make Hawaii’s roadways safer for pedestrians. Proposals are expected to include infrastructure improvements, education, encouragement and enforcement strategies.

By the end of the three-day session, Hawaii County will have its own pedestrian safety plan. The plan will be the first of its kind in Hawaii and is critically needed in the wake of tragic crashes leading to over 300 injuries and more than 25 deaths on Hawaii Island roads since 2005.

For more information about the workshop or how to participate, please call Laura Dierenfield, executive director of PATH, at 936-4653, or email: You may also call Bobby Command, Executive Assistant to the Mayor at 895-2416, or email:

2 Responses

  1. Mahalo Damon for the heads up on this important meeting… As I have said before and I will continue saying it… PEOPLE HAVE TO SLOW DOWN… I drive into town daily and from Kurtistown it is like trying to get into the Indy 500. It gets even worst when you hit the Kea’au-Pahoa By pass… everyone is in a rush to get ahead of everyone else at breakneck speed.. We need to enfore the speed limits that are posted..35-45 and stop racing through this area at 60 MPH….Until people slow down and practice going the speed limit we will keep having accidents.. this ain’t Honolulu, the H-1, H-2, H-3 or the mainland…

  2. This is a plan that should have been in place already, but it is never too late to start.

    Mahalo for bringing it to our attention, Damon!

    Another intersection that desperately needs a traffic signal of some kind is the first intersection on Maka’ala when turning left into the Down to Earth – Ros – Office Max complex. I’m amazed there have not been more accidents there!

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