Ask The Mayor

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

Q: Are there plans for a sidewalk extension on the Old Haleakala Highway in Pukalani between Makawao Avenue and the Pukalani Terrace Center? If so, what might be a timetable for a project to be considered or is it in the works? There is a lot of pedestrian usage on this part of the highway, especially after school from King Kekaulike High School students. Please consider a plan for the safety of our students and community.

A: I’m happy to tell you that design work has already begun on the sidewalk extension. Our Department of Public Works also confirmed to my staff the release of funding for construction, which will likely start late next year. For more information, please call the Department of Public Works at 270-7845.

Q: When will the horrific road surface conditions on Kauhikoa and Kaluanui roads in Haiku be addressed?

A: My staff reported to me that the Department of Public Works has scheduled resurfacing of Kaluanui Road, from Kokomo Road to the Maliko Gulch Bridge, toward the end of next year. Kauhikoa Road, from Kaupakalua Road to the address 1105 Kauhikoa Road, is scheduled for resurfacing in early 2020, with the remainder to be completed in 2021. For more information, please call the Department of Public Works at 270-7845.

Q: Given how many fatal traffic accidents on Maui involve vehicles crossing the center line and colliding head-on with vehicles traveling in the opposite direction, would it make sense to explore erecting median barriers on highway roads?

A: Mahalo for your important safety question, which is on a topic that continues to trouble me. We are up to 11 traffic fatalities compared with four at the same time last year, and every single one has involved either alcohol, drugs, speeding and/or not wearing seat belts. I’d like to remind everyone to please slow down and practice safe driving.

As for your question, my staff reached out to the state Department of Transportation for their input on median barriers on our highways. We were told that the Hawaii Administrative Rules mandate that public streets and highways shall conform to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials guidelines. The main criteria used in determining whether to install median barriers include median width, median slope, traffic counts and accident history. Median barriers usually are installed on access-controlled highways, which the majority of Maui’s highways are not. All accident data is collected and utilized as part of the justification process for various types of improvements.

State DOT officials made clear that centerline rumble strips have been and will continue to be installed as a safety measure on undivided roadways. They added that maintaining safe roads and highways is a continuous effort and the highest priority of DOT’s Highways Division. I want to thank the state DOT for their tireless work of improving the safety of our roads, and again, remind our residents and visitors to drive safely.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.


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