Hnlbike, an online news portal for cycling in Honolulu, has amassed more than 1,000 signatures in favor of dedicated bike lanes on Waialae Avenue in an online petition.
The petition, along with signatures and comments, will be delivered to Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and the city departments involved.
The petition began as a response to the city’s indecision on the inclusion of dedicated bike lines on the Waialae Avenue repaving project that has been on schedule since last year.
Daphne Manago, mother of Zach Manago, a HPU student who was killed in a bicycle accident in December 2010, will act as representative for the petition when it is delivered to City Hall. The petition delivery date and time is currently being coordinated.
It is apparent through many of the comments on the petition that safety is a major concern for cyclists. One of the petition signers was a cyclist recently hit by a car. Robin Michi Sweeney, a Kaimuki resident writes, “… On January 24th, 2012, I was struck by a vehicle turning left on Harding as I was riding to UH to get to work. I specifically take Harding, as there is a single lane of traffic and the vehicles are not moving quite as fast as they do down Waialae. I now have a broken knee and after surgery will not be able to bike, walk or swim for some time…. I believe that biking is one of the most healthy, efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transportation and that individuals should not be hindered from choosing it because of a fear for personal safely.”
Mark Want, a Hawaii Kai resident, writes, “I commute into downtown from Hawaii Kai and back by bicycle two-three days a week. Therefore, I use Waialae Ave. up to 6 times. Honestly, it is the most dangerous portion of the whole 14-mile trip. Please provide some safety for cyclists such as myself. I have a wife and two daughters that have in the past tried to ride in Kaimuki, but gave up for safety concerns.“
The Dept. of Transportation Services conducted a travel lane study on Waialae Avenue from September 20-22, 2011 and is actively working with consultants to explore bicycle lane options but have yet to announce any concrete decision. In a 12-hour count conducted by DTS, an estimated 400 cyclists were noted on Waialae Avenue on a weekday, with about half of them riding on the sidewalks. Dedicated bike lanes would not only provide safety for cyclists, it would free up sidewalks for their intended users, pedestrians.
Hawaii is currently the most dangerous state in the country to be a pedestrian over 60 and across all ages ranks 11th in pedestrian fatalities per capita and 12th in bicycle fatalities per capita.