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Ask the Mayor: Why Aren’t There More Sidewalks?

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his staff.

Q: Is there a planning goal for county roadways to include sidewalks (and possibly bike lanes) for all new roadway projects and when refurbishing existing urban streets? Here in Kīhei, there are a number of streets with no sidewalks so people have to walk on the street and/or near cars whizzing by as people monkey with their cellphones. Many Maui communities have streets that loop through their community that could be turned into one-way streets with sidewalks and bike paths.

A: Mahalo for your question and suggestions. My staff contacted Department of Public Works Director David Goode about your comments and I’m very pleased to note that he has implemented a Complete Streets Policy which addresses these concerns.

The policy directs all staff to design and operate the entire road right-of-way to enable safe access for all users. The policy requires that all new construction and reconstruction/retrofit projects consider the needs of all modes of transportation and all users of the road network.

David Goode also has directed staff to find opportunities to include bike lanes and pedestrian paths in the project plans, when feasible. This policy includes all maintenance projects and ongoing operations such as resurfacing, repaving, restriping and rehabilitation

Additionally, the Department’s capital improvement program budget includes a line item for countywide sidewalk improvements. Public Works staff takes input from the community, makes priorities for new sidewalk requests and forwards these requests annually to the Maui County Council.

Sidewalk priorities generally focus on highly frequented areas or where children typically walk, such as schools and parks, transit stops, key business destinations, and in areas where sidewalk network gaps exist. The number of sidewalks constructed each year is dependent upon funding availability.

To answer your question regarding the conversion of two-way streets into one-way streets, that would require a measure brought before the Maui County Public Works Commission for review and recommendation, along with an approval from the County Council.

Mahalo for your thoughtful question and we look forward to continuing to improve our county’s roadways.

Want to ask the Mayor?

Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at AskThe[email protected] [1], by phone at (808) 270-7855 or via mail to 200 S. High Street, ninth floor, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.