Public art and road safety improvements coming to Papa Avenue and Māʻalo Street in March

Mural, courtesy of Maui Now.

To beautify the area, encourage walking and biking, and improve road safety, the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute’s Healthy Eating + Active Living Coalition, the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization, County of Maui Department of Public Works, and Maui artist Matthew Agcolicol are creating a “Quick Build” Demonstration Project at the intersection of Papa Avenue and Māʻalo Street in March 2021.

Funding for the project was provided by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. Quick Build projects in this funding round aim to promote active transportation near schools where 50% or more of students qualify for SNAP-Ed free or reduced-price lunches.

About 200 residents and Lihikai School staff, teachers and families participated in a survey last fall, sharing their experiences using the Papa Avenue – Māʻalo Street intersection. Public input was instrumental in the project design and street beautification, and will also inform long-term improvements by County. 

The Quick Build project includes the following improvements:

  • Installation of bike and pedestrian crossings to make the area safer for people walking, biking, and driving in line with the principles of Complete Streets and the Vision Zero Maui initiative to end serious injuries and traffic fatalities by 2040;
  • Reverse-in angled parking for improved driver visibility, easier loading and unloading, accessible parking and curb ramps, and traffic calming. This will be the first reverse-in angled parking on Maui – a proven design that promotes safety and has been adopted by multiple municipalities; and
  • Street art by Maui artist Matthew Agcolicol to help beautify the intersection. Agcolicol’s design honors the area’s rich plantation history and gives a nod to the Lihikai Surfers.

Vision Zero Maui Action Plan nears completion

The Vision Zero Maui initiative recently launched its draft action plan for public review. The plan was presented at a virtual town hall via Zoom on February 25 and goes next to the Maui MPO Policy Board and County Council for approval. 

Together with partners County of Maui and the Healthy Eating Active Living Coalition, the Vision Zero Action Plan is the culmination of a year-long process of a wide range of engagement tools and strategies to inform and solicit feedback on roadway safety concerns and opportunities.

“We have analyzed the data and public input to inform the seven Vision Zero priorities from the draft plan,” said Lauren Armstrong, Executive Director of Maui MPO. “This collective effort is community-driven, and focuses on promoting health and safety.”

The seven priorities are:

  • Eliminate impaired driving
  • Create safe speeds
  • Eliminate distracted driving
  • Create a safety culture
  • Build safe streets for everyone
  • Institutionalize vision zero
  • Improve data to support decisions

Comparison of all crashes and fatal crashes by travel mode

With Vision Zero Maui, the only acceptable number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries is zero. Go to mauimpo.org to download the full draft.

Article written by Lauren Armstrong, Executive Director of Maui MPO & HEAL Coalition Maui County Built Environment Chair.