Family mourns victim as residents push for more pedestrian safety on Pali Hwy.

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Honolulu police were stationed along Pali Highway Thursday after a deadly pedestrian crash.

Raymond Endow, 83, was hit by a truck while crossing the highway at the Wood Street intersection Wednesday. He died at the hospital.

They say they're sad and angry, and want more to be done to increase safety for pedestrians as they cross the busy highway.

The day following Endow's death, officers were pulling drivers over for failing to yield to pedestrians.

HPD cited dozens of drivers who did not stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Plainclothes officers crossed the highway as solo bike officers waited for drivers who broke the law. 

Endow's widow says Raymond always wore a reflective safety vest everywhere he went, and preached safety almost to a fault.

"He wouldn't want me to walk with him because he said what if both of us get banged going down the highway, so you walk this way and I walk that way, we walked separately," said Annette Endow.

"It was devastating to me it was so bad that I cried all day now I'm crying again. He didn't deserve that no," said Paula Kurashige, Endow's neighbor.

Family and friends say enough is enough, and want added safety measures before anyone else gets hurt.

"If there was a light where before you cross the street you can press a button, and then the light flashes. So no matter what car is coming down they'll be alert and slow down or look out for someone walking," said Mrs. Endow.

"We don't need another traffic study. If we have any more people die, then I'm really gonna be angry. It's out of control already, everything is out of control and I'm tired of it," said Kurashige.

Pedestrian crossing lights were installed on South King Street and Kamehameha Highway by HPU in Kaneohe years ago and pedestrians say they have made a difference.

"Generally my experience is they do. I prefer to use this crosswalk specifically because of that," said pedestrian Zeke Magness.

KHON2 reached out to state and city officials to find out what measures are in the works to make the roads safer. If pedestrian signal lights are working are there plans to add more?

Rumble strips drew complaints from residents on Pali Highway. Chinatown vendors were not happy with bulb outs. So we're pressing officials on what options they see working, and will there be more of them anytime soon? 

We at HDOT take the safety of our highway users personally.  After all, these are our families, friends and neighbors that are affected.  We are frustrated by the high number of fatalities we continue to experience as these numbers represent lives lost too soon.  This year, Mr. Endow tragically is the 94th person to die on our roads.  The 33th pedestrian killed on our public streets.  We send our deepest condolences to their loved ones.

We continue to upgrade our educational campaigns to increase awareness with drivers who have the highest level of responsibility, and all users to provide them the tools to be safe as bicyclists and pedestrians.  We also continue  to upgrade our facilities to be safer for all.  For Pali Highway, HDOT will be piloting a concept that worked very well for the Michigan Department of Transportation.  The Gateway Concept uses signs and delineators to bring greater awareness to the crosswalks, and requires drivers to slow down where they expect to see pedestrians.  We anticipate deploying the concept in 2 to 3 weeks.

We're still waiting to hear back from the city. KHON2 will keep pressing until we get an answer.

HONOLULU – The Honolulu Medical Examiner identified the man who died after being hit along the Pali Highway as Raymond Endow.

Neighbors say he was an advocate for pedestrian safety often wearing a fluorescent vest while crossing the street.

According to Nuuanu residents, they say the stretch of Pali Highway near Wood Street is risky to cross for pedestrians. Some days it’s because of speed.But on Wednesday afternoon, Lieutenant James Slayter with the Honolulu Police Department says it was because line of sight.

"Vehicles were on-coming, the first two lanes were slowing down,” says Lt. Slayter, but the third vehicle stopped too late.

“He was unable to stop in time. And the other issue is, the pedestrian, from witness statements – he had stepped out in front of the car, and then kind of jumped back. And then when the vehicle swerved, it was in the same direction.”

Although Honolulu police have not identified the 83-year-old-man who was hit inside the crosswalk – neighbors believe they know who it is, and they know him well.

“He's the very one that told me, “Paula I gottah wear a vest,”” said Paula Kurashige of the Nuuanu Neighborhood Board. “He walks up, and down all the time with that vest."

Kurashige says for decades her group has pushed for improvements along the area. “We have asked! We have asked for a light over here, or for something to go over.”

The Department of Transportation understands the priority of pedestrian safety, working to address concerns in their two phase Pali project, saying in a statement, “We will consult with the community as the design for these improvements takes shape, and are looking at other options to protect crosswalks statewide such as gateway in-street sign treatments, and rapid rectangular flashing beacons at appropriate crosswalks.”

“Even when I’m driving, and I stop for pedestrians, I still see drivers next to me go straight through the cross-walk,” said Melissa Lau, “even when there’s a pedestrian clearly waiting to cross.”


Posted in Honolulu