Take a guess where Oahu’s worst intersections are.
We’ll give you a hint — most of them are in the heart of Honolulu and near Ala Moana, according to data compiled by the Hawaii Department of Transportation. There were other problem spots across the island, too: Kaimuki, Pearl City, Kaneohe, to name a few.
The DOT’s statistics, acquired from Honolulu’s transportation department, are based on the total number of reported car crashes during a recent three-year span.
The junction between Beretania Street and Ward Avenue between 2007 and 2009 experienced more accidents than any other Honolulu County intersection. During that time, the location saw 23 reported accidents, according to the DOT data. That’s on top of fender benders and other accidents that go unreported.
The DOT defines accidents as any collision involving a fatality, injury or more than $3,000-worth of damage to the vehicle, according to DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter.
Occupy Honolulu protesters, who camp out right next to the Beretania-Ward intersection, said they and other area residents regularly complain about the roads at neighborhood board meetings.
In fact, protesters have put up a red sign warning westbound drivers of the exceptionally high curb at the northeast corner of the intersection — an impediment they say causes many accidents.
“The design is horrible,” said protester Sugar Russell, who’s lived at the spot since June. “People hit that curb multiple times a day. There are tires that get blown out, you name it … We all get acclimated to that sound, we know that sound.” She said that she hears cars scraping against the curb all the time.
Russell thinks that clearer signs signaling the high curb will reduce the number of accidents that occur at the intersection. She also said that smoothing out the pavement will enhance the area’s safety.
“I think a lot of people get distracted with how many bumps they’re contending with,” she said.
Here are the most problematic intersections, according to data from 2007-2009:
|Intersection||Number of Accidents|
|Beretania Street & Ward Avenue||23|
|Piikoi & Kinau Street||19|
|Beretania Street & Piikoi Street||17|
|Moanalua Road & Hoolaulea Street||17|
|King Street & Isenberg Street||16|
|Kapiolani Boulevard & Keeaumoku Street||16|
|Waialae Avenue & 16th Avenue||16|
|School Street, Iolani Avenue
& Queen Emma Street, Lusitana Street
Ron Allen, a security guard at the Pacific Guardian Tower — which overlooks the Kapiolani Boulevard-Keeaumoku Street intersection — said he sees three to four accidents there each week.
“I think it’s that way because it’s a major thoroughfare,” he said. “Then you got another thoroughfare. Everyone’s trying to go to the mall or Walmart, so I think it’s because you have a lot of cars and a whole lot of traffic, and cars are doing all kinds of illegal left turns.”
Allen suggested that increased police oversight and clearer street markings would reduce the number of collisions.
Some Honolulu residents, however, were surprised by the rankings.
Thea Hnatyk, who works at the America’s Mattress along the intersection between Beretania Street and Piikoi Street, said she hasn’t witnessed a single collision there since she started working at the store five months ago.
The reason, she said, could be because of the recently installed signs that deter northbound drivers from entering the intersection at a yellow light.
According to Hnatyk, traffic accumulates on Piikoi Street during rush hour because of all the drivers attempting to get on the H-1.
“You don’t hear as many honks since those signs have gone up,” she said. “People caught on real quick.”