UPDATE: December 2nd 2023
Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works has completed installing the new speed limit signs to reflect the reduction to 25mph. They have also completed a site plan for installation of speed tables and presented it to the local community for feedback. We expect the speed tables to be installed within the next few months. We have also added a video of our presentation to the Hawaiʻi Island to the Hawaiʻi County Policy Committee on Infrastructure and Assets to our project page.
UPDATE: July 7th 2023
Council’s Policy Committee on Infrastructure and Assets voted unanimously to forward the bill with a favorable recommendation to the full council. Nene.org, ʻĀina Hoʻōla Initiative, DLNR met with the Department of Public Works on July 6th to discuss a plan to install speed tables in the critical areas impacting nēnē. In discussions are four speed tables and one elevated crosswalk. A detailed site plan will be published once we get to that stage with DPW and we will continue to work with the community to get feedback and address any issues.
In response to community concerns raised by ʻĀina Hoʻōla Initiative and Nene.org, Hawaiʻi Island Councilwomen Sue Lee Loy introduced Bill 51 to reduce the speed limit on Kalanianaole St. from James Kealoha Beach Park to Leleiwi Ave. from 30mph to 25mph. Council gave the Department of Public Works (DPW) two weeks to meet with community members (and nene.org) to better understand the issue and brainstorm what other speed calming tools can be implemented. DLNR, ʻĀina Hoʻōla Initiative and Nene.org met with DPW on June 29th and will be meeting again on July 6th to continue these discussions. We are grateful to have County of Hawaiʻi traffic professionals and engineers looking at this issue.
We want to mahalo DPW and the County Council for recognizing this issue and working diligently towards suitable solutions. We have records of 26 banded nēnē and 2 un-banded nēnē that consider the Keaukaha part of their critical habitat and continue to receive reports of groups crossing over the road between Kealoha Beach Park and Lokowaka Pond. We appreciate the community looking out for these nēnē and driving cautiously throughout the Keaukaha area.