Survey of Hawaiian Spelling for Oahu Street Signs

HDOT is seeking input on the Hawaiian spelling for our street signs from Native Hawaiian Organizations and community members with cultural knowledge or insights on the areas covered by the street signs. 

There are a lot of streets listed, you do not need to comment on every one to participate in the survey. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of HDOT streets. For the list of O’ahu roads in HDOT jurisdiction, visit 

Please complete the survey here: 

COMMUNITY INPUT IS STRONGLY WANTED FOR THE STREET SIGNS LISTED BELOW to determine the correct spelling and meaning of words and accurately reflect the history of communities. 

Ewa District 

Honolulu District 

Route 7239 (Ulune Street, Halawa Valley Road)  

  • Ulune Street (Possible change to Uluna Street) 
    • Community input wanted on whether “Ulune” could be a mispelling of “Uluna” (meaning 1. nvi. Pillow, cushion, formerly made of pandanus; to use as a pillow 2. n. Upper part of the arm. 3. n. Center part of a net, as of a large ʻupena iheihe, (net used for iheihe fish)). “Ulune” is not found in any dictionary or Hawaiian place names source. There are 20 results of use of “ulune” in the Hawaiian newspapers (nupepa), and community input is needed to determine whether those uses are mistakes or correct. 
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries: 
  • Hālawa Valley Road/Ulune Street Extension (Possible change to Uluna Street Extension) 
    • If Ulune Street is changed, Ulune Street Extension should also be changed. 
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries: 

Koolauloa District  

Koolaupoko District 

Route 65 (Kāne‘ohe Bay Drive, Mōkapu Saddle Road, Mōkapu Boulevard) 

  • ʻIlipilo Street/Oneawa Street 
    • Community input wanted on meaning of Ilipilo (hard working farmer, or skin of pilo plant or maiapilo plant). In this area of Kailua off Mōkapu Blvd, there are many streets that begin with ʻIli: ʻIlimano, ʻIliʻāina, ʻIlikau, ʻIlikala, ʻIlimalia, and a little makai of this area there is ʻIlikai and ʻIlihau. Ili without the ʻokina means stranded, inheritance, or to fall upon. Looking at the end of each of these words, the correct spelling is ʻili with the ʻokina which commonly means skin or surface. Oneawa was a famous fishery off the beach for awa, or milk-fish, and ʻōʻio, or bonefish.  
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries: 
  • ʻIlimāʻila Loop/ʻIlilani Street 
    • Ilimalia is likely misspelled and should be “ʻIlimāʻila”. ʻIli is the start of many street names in this area, and most commonly means skin or surface. If we assume Ilimalia is to be read with ʻIli (skin/surface) at the start, none of the various spellings of malia make sense with ʻili, and prompt doubt over the correct spelling. If the order of two letters are switched from malia to maila, ʻIlimāʻila makes sense as māʻila means “1. n. Light-brown skin, as of some part-Hawaiians. 2. vs. Clear, as the sea on a sunny day when the depths can be seen.” so ʻIlimāʻila could either mean light brown skin or clear surface of the ocean.  
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries: 
  • ʻIlimāʻila Loop/ʻIliwahī Street 
    • Ilimalia is likely misspelled and should be “ʻIlimāʻila”. See above. Likely spelling of Iliwahi is ʻIliwahī rather than ʻIliwahi or ʻIliwāhi. Dictionary: wahī – nvt. Wrapper, envelope, case, covering, sheath; a ti-leaf bundle; to wrap, cover, bundle up, fold up, roll up, swathe; to dress, as a wound. Cf. ʻili wahī, kīpē. Wahī makaaniani, glasses case. Ā wahī ihola ʻoia i nā papa i ke gula (Puk. 36.34), and he overlaid the boards with gold. (PEP faʻasi, but cf. Marquesan fafi, vahi [long vowels are not marked]). 
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries: 

Wahiawa District 

Waialua District 

Waianae District 

Route 93 (Farrington Highway) 

  • Piliokahe Avenue 
    • Piliokahi is likely a misspelling of Piliokahe.
      The moʻolelo of Piliokahe tells of two places – where the pōhaku was thrown and where it landed. Both Ewa and Waiʻanae. Place Names of Hawaiʻi: Pili-o-Kahe – Land section, Wai-ʻanae qd., Oʻahu. See ʻEwa. Lit., clinging to Kahe. Ulukau Hawaiian Place Names: Pili o Kahe – place, Honouliuli ahupuaʻa, Oʻahu. “Kane and Kanaloa threw a stone to determine district boundaries. The stone was lost but was found later at Pili-o-Kahe.” Cf. Kapiliokahe, Kahe Point.    
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries:   
  • Heleakalā Avenue 
    • Haleakala is misspelled and should be “Heleakalā”. Place Names of Hawaiʻi: Heleakalā – Hill at Nānā-kuli, Wai-ʻanae qd., Oʻahu. Lit., snare by the sun (the hill blocks the rays of the setting sun).  Hele akala meaning, where the sun is snared [by the demigod Māui].” Elevation 1890 ft. Puʻu Heleakalā can clearly been seen from Haleakala Ave. Puu Heleakala Recreation Center is nearby at 87-169 Helelua Street, from which the base of Puʻu Heleakalā can be seen. Puu Heleakala Community Association is located at Puu Heleakala Recreation Center.
    • Hawaiian Dictionaries: 

We greatly appreciate your input and support as we work to incorporate Hawaiian spelling into HDOT street signs. For additional information please contact (…)