Honolulu City Council members were briefed last week on plans to ease parking and delivery congestion in Waikiki. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.
The Waikiki Transportation Management Association, if approved, would oversee street parking and curb-side deliveries in the one-square-mile area from the Ala Wai Canal to Kapahulu Avenue. Waikiki Improvement Association president, Rick Egged, says this is only a proposal and details have yet to be worked out with the community and city departments.
“By putting in parking stations rather than just parking meters, we would be able to have optional rates at various times and locations throughout Waikiki so it wouldn’t just be one price that applied for the entire period that is designated by the city. The idea being able to potentially create a residential permit rate, for example.”
The City Department of Transportation Services would approve Association recommendations and the Honolulu Police Department would enforce new laws. Egged would also like to add to the traffic code the ability to tow illegally parked cars.
“The idea there is that to simply give them citations, you get a bunch of citations that will pile up but you’re not necessarily going to get compliance with the law. I think all of us know that you only have to have your car towed once before you make sure that never happens again.”
The Waikiki Neighborhood Board has not officially voted to support the proposal but is scheduled to consider the matter during its May meeting. Board Chair Robert Finlay says a number of older residential buildings were built before parking requirements were enacted but there is one group he’s concerned about.
“Our minimum wage workers in Waikiki that come in from other than the West Side that they can ride the bus and they must find a parking stall and in the middle of their shift – being a waiter or a cashier at the ABC Store – they can’t run out to feed a meter. So we brought that up with the WTMA as well.”
The Association would also manage curb-side deliveries…both passenger and cargo. Businesses and transportation carriers would become paid members of the association and follow a master schedule. Eric Masutomi, chairs an advisory group, the Waikiki Stakeholders Transportation Oversight Committee.
“This is just a concept that we felt, if pursued, would solve and deal with the problems that continue to plague not just residents and businesses but also the City and County in trying to address the intractable problems that occur in Waikiki just because of the density of a vibrant visitor area.”
Three bills have been drafted to implement this proposal in the Waikiki special improvement district. But Honolulu City Council Business, Economic Development and Tourism Committee chair, Trevor Ozawa, would like to discuss legal implications of the proposal with Corporation Counsel.
“What we’ll do is we’ll take this up at a later time. Perhaps a special executive session. We’ll figure that out but I think we do have to look at dotting the ‘I’s’ and crossing the ‘t’s’ with regard to this matter.”
There are 135 transportation management districts on the mainland formed over the last 30 years. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.