South Maui State Representative Wildberger in Attendance
Monday, July 22nd, a contingency of veteran Kihei Community Association Directors went to the Maui Research and Technology Park to meet with Goodfellow Brothers/ Pacific Rim Land at their offices. South Maui State Representative Tina Wildberger was also present.
The KCA directors’ long-term experience with South Maui traffic issues and safety concerns prompted the meeting.
The main issue discussed was the Kulanihakoi exit off the Pi’ilani highway, which is currently closed due to construction. It was proposed that after construction is over the vehicle intersection should be revised into a roundabout rather than a signalized crossroad.
Further discussion included creating a series of roundabouts along the Pi’ilani Highway at most or all of the major intersections. This progressive stance on the re-design of the highway is in response to a need for safety for drivers and for pedestrians. Safe pedestrian areas are also extremely important due to the long-awaited Kihei high school which reportedly has a pedestrian underpass for the Pi’ilani freeway for pedestrians and bike users. These safety measures in traffic planning follow the recommendations made by a detailed 2014 Kihei High School study produced by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.
A suggestion was made that our State Legislature establish a gathering of the community, business, and government representatives next month to continue the discussion. Other stakeholders which would be invited include the State Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Education (DOE) and the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Interestingly, the DOT and the DOE were invited to the 2013 meeting in preparation for the 2014 study made by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute but did not attend. The MPO was not yet created in 2013.
Tina Wildberg should be commended for already moving forward on this action.