Maui News

Street Safety Through Public Art Featured in Kahului Quick Build Project Video

July 13, 2021, 6:56 AM HST
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A new video was released featuring the completed “Quick Build” Demonstration Project at the Papa Avenue and Māʻalo Street intersection fronting Lihikai School in Kahului.

The project, which features improvements to pedestrian, bike, and parking facilities that incorporated public art to make the area safer and more vibrant, was a collaborative effort by the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization, County of Maui Department of Public Works, the Healthy Eating + Active Living Coalition of the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, and local artist Matt Agcolicol.

In addition to making it easier for people to get outside and move organizers say it is important for public health to prevent conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and depression, public art can also act as a catalyst for community engagement, social cohesion and revitalization. 

“This project attracted many community members and volunteers,” said Lauren Armstrong, Maui MPO executive director. “In March 2021, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, Councilmember Tasha Kama, State Representative Troy Hashimoto, Lihikai School Principal Barbara Ouva Tavares, and nearly 20 community volunteers joined the project team to celebrate its opening and assist with painting murals.”

Armstrong said the video was created to inspire and share the project’s benefits with other communities that might be interested in bringing this to their neighborhoods.

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The quick build project includes the following improvements: 

  • Bike and pedestrian crossings to make the area safer for people walking, biking, and driving in support of Complete Streets and Maui’s Vision Zero goal to end traffic fatalities by 2040.
  • Back-in angled parking for improved driver visibility, easier loading and unloading, accessible parking and curb ramps, and traffic calming. This is the first back-in angled parking on Maui. 
  • Street art by Maui artist Matthew Agcolicol to help beautify the intersection. The street art design is based on the area’s history and connections to Lihikai School’s mascot, the surfer. 
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Funding for the project was provided by the State Department of Health, with technical support offered by SSFM International and the Ulupono Foundation. 

More than 190 people – including staff, students, and families of Lihikai School, as well as people living in the surrounding area  – participated in an online survey prior to help plan for the project. Participants were asked to share their experience using the Papa Avenue- Māʻalo Street intersection, input on the proposed improvements, and ideas for street beautification. Input received from the survey was incorporated into the project design and will also inform long term improvements by the County.  

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