KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A bus stop on the mauka side of Farrington Highway sits a quarter mile from the entrance to Ko Olina. Four lanes of busy traffic separate it from the other side of the highway.
“For the most part, people are not going the speed limit,” Daniel Acosta said.
He lives next to the mauka stop. He has watched countless bus riders get off the bus then jay walk across the highway, dodging fast-moving vehicles to get to the resorts. Some are going there to sightsee. Many others are going to work.
Darin Anderson is a lifeguard at the Aulani Disney Hawaii Resort. He says jaywalking saves time.
“It takes me 18 minutes to get from here to the front gate of where I work, and about ten minutes if I run really fast,” he said.
Besides speeding, west bound drivers can’t see the stop until they clear a rise on the highway. Acosta has witnessed near misses and accidents.
“This can all be avoided if the bus stop is either moved a couple hundred yards town-bound, or if that’s not the case, if we just eliminate the bus stop altogether,” he said.
Transportation officials wanted to do that but have put the plan on hold while they search for a solution.
“We either need to find a bus stop in a location near that area, where it’s not so close to the merge, where it’s safe for drivers, or bring bus service into Ko Olina,” City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine said.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell believes bus service could be done with the city’s circulator busses.
“Some of them are a little bit under-utilized. Perhaps one of those could pick up folks when they’re dropped off and take them down into Ko Olina,” he said.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Paradise Cove vice president Norman Kaneshige said. “There’s a lot of people. People don’t realize that there’s also the visitors that come here.”
Acosta has warned tourists not to jaywalk across Farrington,
“They get dropped off with children, babies, and they attempt to cross the highway,” he said.
One of the bus stops nearest to the problem stop is at Honokai Hale. It’s a two-mile walk from there to the resorts. Anderson said that’s too far. He said jaywalking is a risk worth taking.
“It’s more of just darting across,” he said.
Pine is also asking resort officials if they can start up a shuttle service to get workers and visitors from the highway to the resort and back.