Police Call: DES Hale Kula drop-offs, pick-ups

| September 11, 2015 | 4 Comments
Col Miller

Miller

Col. Duane R. Miller
Director, Emergency Services
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and
Commander, 8th Military Police Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

With school back in session, there is a significant increase in the amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the vicinity of the three schools located on U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii installations.

While most personnel have acclimated to the increases found in on/off-post traffic and transit times, and have planned accordingly, we have seen some safety issues around the schools that require the community’s assistance in resolving.

While we have not received any community issues or concerns around Solomon Elementary School or Wheeler Middle School, a number of safety concerns have been brought to our attention in the Hale Kula Elementary School area.

The Directorate of Emergency Service understands that parking is at a premium around the installation and that Hale Kula Elementary is no exception.

Unfortunately, until the garrison finds a long-term solution for the parking at that area of post, we are all limited in where and when we can find parking.

Although the Military Police increased its presence in the area to facilitate the safe passage of children, DES is limited in the amount of resources that can be placed at the school in the morning and afternoon.

Here is where we need the community’s assistance:

  • For those Soldiers, civilians and family members who travel around Hale Kula Elementary during peak drop-off and pick-up times, please be aware of your surroundings.
  • For those who drop their children off at the school, please refrain from illegally parking on the side of the road. Your vehicles create blind spots for vehicles passing through the area and increase the possibility of pedestrian-vehicle accidents.

DES will begin issuing citations in the area for illegally parked vehicles, especially those that create a safety hazard. While this may create a bit of an inconvenience for those who are unable to find parking close to the school, the additional distance you may have to walk fails in comparison to the alternative: A pedestrian being hit by a passing car.

DES will continue to monitor the area and work on finding a short-term solution to the parking as it seeks a longer-term solution to the Hale Kula Elementary traffic management challenge.

Again, we understand the limitations and issues related to parking, but we cannot jeopardize the safety and well-being of keiki or parents who take them there.

Please help us help you in addressing this concern.

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Category: News, Police Call, Standing Columns

Comments (4)

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  1. Joy L. says:

    “Although the Military Police increased its presence in the area to facilitate the safe passage of children, DES is limited in the amount of resources that can be placed at the school in the morning and afternoon.”

    I find this statement a little troubling. While I respect that DES has responsibilities throughout post and the other installations on the island, no one is asking for 24 hour, full-force surveillance of the school. Rather, pick-up and drop-off combined amount to approximately an hour and a half on school days only. If the MPs can’t prioritize hundreds of children (the majority of whom are Army dependents living here on Schofield Barracks) for a couple of hours a day, then what exactly are the MPs prioritizing?

    • haw says:

      Hello, Joy — Here is the response from the Directorate of Emergency Services:

      I again understand the concern raised. We are unable to control what other incidents occur at any of the other installations that may necessitate police response. An incident, such as a traffic accident, shoplifting, assault, etc., may require assets to be taken from any of the three schools that we try to support during peak hours (pick-up/drop-off).

      We have, in conjunction with DPW (the Directorate of Public Works), assessed the area around Hale Kula and have
      found a possible solution to that specific area. It includes fencing the parking/dirt lot to push pedestrian traffic to a new crosswalk and try to better manage the flow of parents and children. We are also in the process to see if we can obtain additional BMM to assist in that area.

      There is no easy nor simple answer to fix this problem. There are some traffic management and public works improvements that are in the process of being made, but there is also a potential community awareness issue associated with the problem. The purpose of the HAW article was to make these issues/concerns known to see if the community may be able to assist in ensuring that the safety of children is paramount. There is a community piece to resolving this problem as well.

      Daniel J. Brush, PhD
      Deputy Director of Emergency Services

      ~ Posted by USAG-HI Public Affairs

  2. Kieyana johnson says:

    The traffic is horrible there has been incidents where kids was almost hit crossing from porter housing. The drivers speed through the crossing area don’t even look out for the kids that are walking or riding there bikes to school.

    • haw says:

      Hello, Kieyana — The deputy director of the Directorate of Emergency Services replied, as follows:

      “We are working with DPW (the Directorate of Public Works) and MSE (the Mission Support Element) in an effort to increase or reposition the number and/or location of crossing guards, as well as to provide a safer passageway for students and parents to cross the street.”

      Kieyana, I hope you see improvements, soon. ~ HAW Staff

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