Seeking Safer Streets On Kauai

Officials gathered recently for groundbreaking on the Hardy Street project. Photo from Kauai County

Officials gathered recently for groundbreaking on the Hardy Street project. Photo from Kauai County

I love going for a jog or a walk at the beginning or end of a long day. It’s such a great emotional and physical release, and never fails to lift my spirits. Unfortunately, I find that the island is largely inhospitable to those on foot (or on a bike). Except for Kauai Path in Kapaa, we are left with the choice of dodging cars and jumping onto the overgrown grassy shoulders on the side of the road — a bit like playing Russian roulette with your life. I recently saw a family with small children and a baby try to leapfrog their way across Kuhio Highway in Lihue by McDonald’s. It made me cringe.

This is why I am happy to hear that improvements to roadways around the island are underway, including Hardy Street in Lihue. Enhancements to the area will be completed by the fall of next year and will include places for people to park their bicycles as well as safely walk to work (sidewalks!). This project also will include a roundabout at the intersection of Umi and Hardy streets. In addition, a portion of Puhi Road, from Kaumualii Highway to Kaneka Street, is slated to undergo improvements beginning next spring. In fact, the public is invited to provide input on proposed improvements to this area Sept. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School cafeteria. The public also is invited to participate in a Road Design Workshop to help make Hanapepe a more walkable community. Various activities are planned for Aug. 25-28. For more information on the Hanapepe workshop, contact Lee Steinmetz at 241-4978 or lsteinmetz@kauai.gov. It’s a start …

Continuing on a healthy note, the sixth annual Kauai Marathon is happening this weekend. On Sunday (Aug. 31), many brave souls will gather to run/walk a 26.2-mile marathon or half-marathon. The event begins at 6 a.m. on Poipu Road in front of Poipu Shopping Village. The first 11 miles are run together, while half-marathoners will veer toward Kukuiula Resort, and full-marathoners head to Koloa Road and the neighborhoods of Lawai and Kalaheo before coming back to Poipu, where a party and awards ceremony will be held at Sheraton Kauai Resort beginning at 8 a.m. For more information or for last-minute registration, visit thekauaimarathon.com

On Thursday (Aug. 28), join Kauai Police Department for its “Cop on Top” fundraiser beginning at 6 a.m. at Walmart. The promotion will continue through Saturday (Aug. 30). All proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Kauai. Police officers will be on the Walmart roof as well as on the ground to collect donations, and they intend to raise $25,000. For more information, call Jocelyn Barriga, director of Special Olympics Kauai, at 652-8662 …

When you think of green businesses, a large hotel might not immediately come to mind. But Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa recently was recognized by the state for its clean energy efforts during the 2014 Hawaii Green Business Awards. Honored businesses must undergo an internal audit and address everything from energy purchase to waste management, and pass a review to become part of the Green Business Program. Some of the many improvements intended to lessen the Hyatt’s environmental impact are low-flow showerheads and toilets in guest rooms, carpets made with recycled yarn and thermostats that turn off air-conditioning if lanai doors are left open.

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