HONOLULU — On May 12, 2013, Our Kakaako will be giving a sneak peek into its future by creating Hawaii’s largest Complete Streets demonstration. Cooke Street, between Halekauwila Street and Ala Moana Boulevard, will be transformed into a pedestrian and bike friendly space — creating a physical place for people to experience Kamehameha Schools’ envisioned walkable neighborhood. The demonstration is sponsored by Kamehameha Schools and is part of the Hele On Kakaako cyclovia event also taking place on May 12.
The term Complete Streets refers to a design that strives to modify streets for safe, convenient and comfortable travel for everyone, regardless of their mode of transportation. The one-day demonstration in Our Kakaako will include greenery, parklets, additional seating, bike bump outs and roundabouts. The design of the street encourages people to get outside and explore the neighborhood.
“Dozens of volunteers — architects, urban planners, graphic designers and others — have been working on the plans for this demonstration for months now. They know the impact a complete street can have on the quality of life in a neighborhood, and we are so thankful for their commitment to educating the public about this type of design,” said Erin Kinney, Development Manager-Marketing of Kamehameha Schools. “This is an exciting moment for Our Kaka’ako, because for the first time, drivers, pedestrians and cyclist will be able to experience an actual complete street, and shows all modes of moving can live in one space as equals.”
Leading up to the Complete Streets mock-up, from May 6-11, artistic renovations will be taking place along Cooke Street from Auahi to Pohukaina Street. Jeff Gress, artist and co-founder of Lana Lane Studios, has been adding life to a once dominantly-beige-colored street. “We are telling the story of the future of Our Kakaako through graphic stencils and art all down Cooke Street. Represented on the walls is the energy and life our community is building.” In addition to the art, there will be a life size rendering of Kamehameha’s complete streets design of Keawe Street.
On May 11, a large group of volunteers will be working through the night construct and set up the complete street demonstration in time for the Hele On Kakaako event taking place on May 12th. The demonstration will be installed for the day, with hope for a longer term installation sometime in the future.