Pedestrian and bicycle safety advocates are celebrating the passage of a Honolulu County ordinance that will make it safer and easier for residents of all ages and physical abilities to get around. The new law is a significant milestone in AARP’s ongoing effort to ensure that city transportation planning and design takes into account Hawaii’s aging population.
See Also: Honolulu City Council to Consider Complete Streets Ordinance
The City Council’s passage of Bill 26 is the culmination of nearly six years of work at the state and county levels of government by advocates concerned that Honolulu’s roadways are predominantly designed for use by automobiles and provide dangerous conditions for those who don’t drive.
Bill 26 requires the four City and County departments working with Honolulu’s roadways to accommodate access and mobility for all users of public highways, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists, and persons of all abilities.
“This law is the beginning of a culture shift in Honolulu transportation planning,” said AARP Hawaii Director of Community Outreach Jackie Boland. “Hawaii has the highest fatality rate in the country among pedestrians age 60 and older, and that has to change. Our city streets belong to everyone – pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, young and old, the able and the disabled.”
Bill 26 sets the stage for the implementation of Complete Streets in Honolulu. It describes Complete Streets features and principles, and provides for the departmental coordination and transparency necessary to ensure that city streets are made more accessible for all users.
Examples of Complete Streets features include such things as sidewalks, crosswalks, accessible curb ramps, curb extensions, raised medians, refuge islands, roundabouts or mini-circles, traffic signals and accessible pedestrian signals, shared-use paths, bicycle lanes, paved shoulders, street trees, planting strips, signs, pavement markings including multi-modal pavement striping, street furniture, bicycle parking facilities, public transportation stops and facilities including streetscapes, dedicated transit lanes, and transit priority signalization.
AARP is a membership organization for people age 50 and older with nearly 150,000 members in Hawaii. We champion access to affordable, quality health care for all generations, provide the tools needed to save for retirement, and serve as a reliable information source on issues critical to older Americans. Follow AARP HI on Facebook and Twitter.