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Finally, something has been done to address the traffic nightmare in Waikiki (or at least part of the nightmare). But more importantly, it will keep the swarms of pedestrians safe when strolling through this congested part of Oahu.
The city didn’t put in just any crosswalk at Kalakaua Avenue and Royal Hawaiian Avenue; they established a Barnes crosswalk, which allows pedestrians to cross in all directions (mauka, makai, Ewa and Diamond Head) once traffic comes to a stop.
The other day, I gave the new crosswalk a little test of my own, or “did the Barnes Dance,” as it has been commonly referenced. I’m sure I share the same sentiment as other pedestrians when I admit to actually feeling safe while crossing.
Prior to that, I never trusted the pedestrian signs in Waikiki. Oftentimes, a driver would run the light or worse yet, the driver turning left onto Royal Hawaiian Avenue from Ala Moana Boulevard wouldn’t see the pedestrian crossing until the very last minute. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a traffic study a few years ago determined this particular intersection to be the single worst traffic problem in Waikiki.
You may have noticed a similar Barnes crosswalk at Seaside Avenue. It’s been there for as long as I can remember. The news reported that there will be a third Barnes crosswalk installed at Lewers Street. Now, visitors and locals cruising through Waikiki can enjoy themselves without having to worry about any unwanted encounters with vehicles.