HDOT to use Hawaiian diacritical markings on new and replacement highway signs

Posted on Mar 1, 2022 in Highways News, Main, News

HONOLULU – In conjunction with the end of Mahina ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language month) in February, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces Hawaiian names and words on new or replacement highway signs shall include kahakō and ʻokina in conformance with Hawaiian language resources. This policy is effective immediately.

“We are honored and excited today to announce this new internal policy,” said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “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 ongoing project Interstate Routes H1 &H201, Destination Signs Upgrade/Replacement. The first Hawaiian place names using diacritical markings to be printed on State highway signs through this project will be:

  • ʻAiea
  • ʻEwa
  • Waiʻanae
  • Kāneʻohe
  • Wahiawā
  • Hālawa

HDOT is in the process of preparing and adopting a master list of all street names and destinations on the State highways system. The public will be welcome to provide comments on the spellings of Hawaiian words during this consultation period.