On a misty Monday morning, April 22, 2019, more than 30 partners from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (DOT), Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works, Mass Transit, Planning, SSFM International (SSFM), Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Waimea Trails and engaged community partners, canvased Waimea town for a four-mile walk audit with transportation expert, Peter Koonce, as part of the Waimea Regional Safety Study.

The walk audit focused on community-identified improvements for addressing the ease and safety of multimodal travel within Waimea Town. The audit route included portions of Māmalahoa Highway, Lindsey Road, Opelo Road, and a portion of the Waimea Stream Trail. Each area of the walk audit started and ended at the Waimea Civic Center.

HIPHI staff participated in the walk audit and provided insight, to State DOT, in regards to school traffic concerns, common risk areas for children walking to and from school, and active transportation needs near Waimea town central area. SSFM hosted the walk, allowing for stops to discuss possible roadway design changes, additions of roundabouts, and increases in bike lanes to create a safe and walkable community. The walk audit was informative for HIPHI staff and HEAL partners, and provided an opportunity to share insight with state DOT staff for roadway designs and active transportation infrastructure.

Hawai‘i DOT is gathering local input for the Waimea Regional Safety Study, which is being completed by SSFM through the Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) process. The PEL process emphasizes collaboration during planning. The first, second, third and fourth community PEL meetings were held between the months of October 2018-March 2019.

The next PEL meeting which is May 29, 2019, will share the results of the Waimea Walk Audit and input is from the community is welcome and encouraged. Learn more about the Waimea Regional Safety Study and the results of the April 22 Waimea Walk Audit. 

Hawai‘i Island’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) coalition is always looking for new members and partners passionate about healthful living. Please contact Sally at sally@hiphi.org to get involved.