Ask the Mayor: Should Bicyclists and Skateboarders Use Crosswalks?

July 10, 2016, 12:00 PM HST · Updated July 10, 12:41 PM
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Maui Now stock photo. July 2016

Maui Now stock photo. July 2016

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Aloha Mayor Arakawa,

Q: What are the laws concerning persons riding bicycles and skateboards in crosswalks?

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Over the past 8 to 10 years, I have been involved in several near-misses when bicycles (and two incidents with skateboarders) dart into a crosswalk and myself, being the vehicle operator has absolutely no time to react.

It is as if some of the riders are challenging motorists.

I thought crosswalks were for pedestrian use; that bicycles need to be walked across the street at a crosswalk and skateboards carried. It is frustrating to have a cyclist (or skateboarder) dart in front of you, then give the “stink-eye” because you cannot react/stop in time.

I find it unfair, if I can be prosecuted for hitting one of these riders, when I have no time to react.

A: Under state law (HRS §291C-1), skateboarders are considered pedestrians, so they are allowed to use sidewalks (except in Waikikī) and crosswalks.

Bicycle riders should stop, dismount and walk within a crosswalk as a pedestrian, according to “Sharing the Road – A Guide to Safe Bicycling in Hawaii,” published with assistance from the Honolulu Dept. of Transportation Services and the Hawaii Bicycling League.

Your safest bet is to adhere to HRS §291C-75, which states that pedestrians should use the right half of crosswalks whenever practical.

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