HDOT will use Hawaiian diacritical marks on new and replacement road signs

HONOLULU – In conjunction with the end of Mahina ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i (Hawaiian Language Month) in February, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is announcing that Hawaiian names and words on new or replacement road signs must include kahakō and ʻokina in accordance with Hawaiian language resources. This policy takes effect immediately.

“We are honored and excited to announce this new internal policy today,” said Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways. “Using kahakō and ʻokina in Hawaiian words and place names on our signs is a small action to support, promote and revitalize ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i.”

The new policy will start with the current project H1 and H201 interstate highways, upgrade/replace destination signs. The first Hawaiian place names using diacritical marks to be printed on state road signs under this project will be:

  • ʻAiea
  • `Ewa
  • Waiʻanae
  • Kāneʻohe
  • Wahiawa
  • halawah

HDOT is in the process of preparing and adopting a master list of all street names and destinations on the state highway system. The public will be invited to provide feedback on the spelling of Hawaiian words during this comment period.

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