Karey Santilena, Joselyn Glicco,
Danyele Kavak-cioglu, Girlie Rivera and Tony Chun enrolled
in Sociology 3560 – Community Intervention – for
fall 2003. Their semester-long, group project was to address
a community concern and see what they could do to correct the
The group decided to advocate for the installation of a traffic
light on Kamehameha Highway at the intersection of the Hawai‘i
Loa campus and the Pali Golf Course. Past requests for a stop
light, and letters written by others concerned about the safety
of students crossing Kam Highway gave the group a good start.
We really wanted to do something for the school and the safety
of the students and faculty,” said Kavakcioglu.
A traffic light doesn’t just magically appear just because
it’s a major community concern. The group had to take
action. “We didn’t know where to start,” said
Kavakcioglu, “but as we got a list of political contacts
together, we began to develop a plan.”
The group first presented their concern to Honolulu City
Council Member Barbara Marshall at a community forum on Oct.
the presentation, Marshall recalled past correspondence regarding
the intersection and said that it needed further attention.
Marshall told the group that her staff would continue to
investigate the request.
Finally getting a positive response, and having Marshall behind
us, was a tremendous accomplishment for our group,” said
Having Marshall’s support fueled our group effort,” added
After the presentation to Marshal, the group realized
their mission was no longer just another school project.
vision had exploded from the confines of the classroom
into the real-life
arena where they could actually see their efforts making
While the group received some support, the installation
of a traffic light still faces opposition.
The group brought their proposition before the Kaneohe
Neighborhood Board on Nov. 20. Rod Haraga, Hawai‘i.
Transportation Director for the Dept. of Transportation,
attended the meeting and addressed the State’s concerns about
the traffic light installation.
Haraga said that the installation of a traffic light
so close to the Castle Junction stop light would increase
two major traffic lights that close together will create a
problem,” Haraga said.
The second concern Haraga noted was that of complying
with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We could build
an overhead pedestrian walkway, but it would be too long and
too wide to comply with ADA regulations,” said Haraga.
Haraga said that the only feasible solution would be
for HPU to move its entrance towards Kaneohe. “It will cost the
university a lot of money, but it’s really the only way
it will work with current traffic conditions,” said Haraga.
Santilena respects Haraga’s views but still believes
something has to be done. “It is not about trying to
beat the DOT or go around them. What I hope for is that we
can come up with a good solution that we all feel good about,” said
I hope a traffic light will be installed, but if not, I would
hope that people care enough about the safety of the students
so that something is done about it,” said Glicco.
The last formal motion the group made was meeting with
Senator Bob Hogue and two Dept. of Transportation Representatives
on Dec. 19. According to Santilena, the group received
Hogue’s support but needed more evidence demonstrating
that there is a real problem at the intersection. The DOT representatives
said that the number of accidents does not justify the installation
of a traffic light.
During the meeting, it was suggested that the group
put out a survey to see how concerned HPU students
the issue. It was also suggested that the group try
to survey traffic themselves and see how many pedestrians
cross the street on a given school day, said Santilena.
Even though a traffic light was not installed by the
end of the semester, the group is pleased with their
I am really surprised by how far we got. We were involved with
the politicians from the community,” said Santilena. “We
never thought we would get their attention and have them side
with us, actually acknowledging there is a problem and that
something needs to be done about it.”
Glicco was also impressed by the group’s efforts. “It
can be very intimidating dealing with political figures! Not
only that, but I thought that no one would take us seriously,” said
While the fall semester is over, and spring semester
just beginning, the group plans to stay involved.
“I live in Kaneohe,
so this definitely something I will follow,” said Chun.
We are really looking for support from students and faculty,” said
Glicco. “The more voices screaming, the more we will
be heard and something will get done.”
HPU is getting bigger, and I hope that something is done before
something serious happens,” said Kavakcioglu.
With all the support we have from people like Council Member
Marshall and Senator Hogue, we want to continue. It gives us
hope that something can actually be done, and we can actually
make a difference,” said Santilena.
The group hopes to see their efforts continue
during future classes. “It would be great if she [the teacher] had
groups come in every semester that would continue until something
is done,” said Santilena. “That would really show
that you can make a difference in whatever cause you feel needs
to change or want to be a part of.”