The state budget proposed by the House of Representatives includes a relatively small but important line item: $150,000 for crosswalks on Lahainaluna Road.
Lisa Cabingas and her family have been lobbying for crosswalks ever since they were relocated to a subdivision south of Lahainaluna Road due to the Lahaina Bypass project.
"The current situation on the road is hazardous to pedestrians, and I fear for the health and safety of our collective 'ohana," she wrote Friday.
Along busy Lahainaluna Road, there are no crosswalks adjacent to Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahi'ena'ena Elementary School for children.
"This is a huge safety concern for my family and community," she added.
With three schools located near the top of Lahainaluna Road, Cabingas said that during peak morning and afternoon hours, the roadway is bustling with school personnel, vendors and families getting their kids to and from school.
"On many occasions, pedestrians face impatient and ignorant drivers who seem to not have compassion or respect for pedestrian safety. I, along with my children and other residents, have encountered many 'close calls' just walking our kids to school. One Hispanic family's child actually got hit by a car crossing Kuialau Road," Cabingas noted.
This is a glaring safety issue and oversight by the county - which is responsible for the roadway - and the state.
New crosswalks with flashing lights should be installed before the start of the 2013-14 school year. Children and their parents certainly deserve this "safe passage" to school.
Cabingas and her family urge the community to support the legislation, House Bill 200, now before the Hawaii Senate.
"As legislators, what kind of message do you want to give our keiki? I would hope that the safety of our children and community is of the highest priority to our elected officials. As a concerned parent and taxpayer, I wish to again express my support for HB200 to better ensure safe passage for our keiki," Cabingas stated.
"Let's keep Maui No Ka 'Oi and our keiki safe, for they are our future! Passing HB200 is PONO," Cabingas concluded.