On September 15, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa made a proclamation, called Vision 2040, to eliminate traffic deaths on Maui by 2040. To kick off the launch, Creating Healthier Communities — a collaboration between Hawai‘i State Department of Health, Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization, County of Maui Department of Planning, County of Maui Department of Public Works, HEAL Coalition for Maui, Molokai and Lanaʻi , Blue Zones Project and the Hawai‘i Bicycling League — organized a memorial bike ride in Kihei in honor of Karl Hagen, a cyclist struck and killed on the shoulder of Pi‘ilani Highway in 2014. On the ride, community members identified solutions such as safer bridge crossings, roundabouts, and greenways.
The mayor’s proclamation included a resolution that states a “Vision Zero Safety Committee will be formed to advise the Mayor’s Office and County Council on the development and implementation of a Vision Zero Safety Action Plan; and shall be comprised of agencies and organizations with expertise in transportation, enforcement, education, public health, emergency response, equity, transit, biking, walking and vehicles.”
On September 26, Maui’s Vision Zero Safety Committee reviewed crash maps and met with nationally respected transportation engineer Peter Koonce to review best practices to help Maui move forward with creating and implementing a Vision Zero Action Plan. Mr. Koonce presented strategies being used around the country and the world and emphasized that complete streets contribute to “sustainable safety” and “age-friendly communities” and that marketing is important to let the public know what engineers are doing.
Vision Zero often begins with political leaders forming a safety committee, which will need to happen on Maui to implement successful Vision Zero policies. “Street teams” will also be needed to educate vulnerable populations about safe behavior, while education on Safe Routes to Schools takes place with school staff and administration. Critical to the program’s success will be police enforcement and education.
Some of the long-term action items for the Vision Zero Safety Committee are to map and analyze crash data, educate drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, implement “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, design communities that are safe, and to hold more memorial walks and bike rides to highlight the importance of Vision Zero. Other 2019 action ideas include looking to Vision Zero peer cities for direction, connecting with Vision Zero statewide and nationally about Maui’s Vision Zero intent, and possibly utilizing federal funding for policy support for Vision Zero through Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Vision Zero Safety Committee agreed to reconvene in Spring 2019. For more information on the HEAL Coalition for Maui, Molokai and Lanaʻi, please contact the HEAL Community Coordinator Lauren Loor at email@example.com.