MAYORWatch: Would it Make Sense to Erect Median Barriers on Highway Roads?

Mayor Michael Victorino answers weekly questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: Given how many fatal traffic accidents on Maui involve vehicles crossing the center line and colliding head on with vehicles traveling in the opposite direction, would it make sense to explore erecting median barriers on highway roads?

Answer: Mahalo for your important safety question, which is on a topic that continues to trouble me.

We are up to 11 traffic fatalities compared with four from the same time last year, and every single one has involved either alcohol, drugs, speeding and/or not wearing seat belts. I’d like to remind everyone to please slow down and practice safe driving.

As for your question, my staff reached out to the state Department of Transportation for their input on median barriers on our highways. We were told that the Hawaii Administrative Rules mandate that public streets and highways shall conform to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines.

The main criteria used in determining whether to install median barriers include median width, median slope, traffic counts and accident history. Median barriers are usually installed on access controlled highways, which the majority of Maui’s highways are not. All accident data is collected and utilized as part of the justification process for various types of improvements.

State DOT officials made clear that centerline rumble strips have been, and will continue to be, installed as a safety measure on undivided roadways. They added that maintaining safe roads and highways is a continuous effort and the highest priority of HDOT’s Highways Division.

I want to thank the state DOT for their tireless work of improving the safety of our roads, and again, remind our residents and visitors to drive safely.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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