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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, June 27, 2002


Pearl Harbor bike
path to stay closed


Question: Recently, you wrote about access to military bases. What is the status of the Pearl Harbor bike path between the Arizona Memorial and McGrew Point, where it went through the Navy boatyard? That was closed off after Sept. 11, leaving Kamehameha Highway as the only alternative for cyclists (the state and city bike plans call for all kinds of new bike facilities but ignore this particular stretch). I used to bike to work a lot, but have stopped doing so since this part of the bike path was closed.

Q: Since Sept. 11 the wonderful Pearl Harbor bike path has been broken by the closing of two gates that protect a pleasure yacht. Due to the limited access between the path and Kamehameha Highway, the path is unusable for approximately a mile and a half, requiring all users to venture onto Kamehameha Highway in an area with limited sight lines, no shoulder and very heavy automobile and pedestrian traffic. I find it ludicrous that the Navy feels the need to put hundreds of people's lives in danger, daily, in order to protect a pleasure boat. What is the rationale for such a decision?

Answer: "For the foreseeable future," the CINCPACFLT (Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet) boathouse driveway, which had become a connection for the bike path, will remain closed for heightened security reasons, according to Lt. Cmdr. Jane Campbell, public affairs officer for Navy Region Hawaii.

The gates will remain closed, and boathouse personnel will strictly control entry, opening it only when required for operational purposes, she said.

Campbell said the Navy "consistently reviews our security posture," and the status of the boathouse gate will be re-evaluated during such reviews.

She added that the second questioner "is clearly mistaken" regarding the purpose of the boathouse.

"The vessels maintained at that facility are used for official business only, and Navy regulations strictly prohibit the use for 'pleasure' as your reader asserts," Campbell said.

At this point, braving Kamehameha Highway is the only alternative for bikers, since the land surrounding the boathouse is also owned by the Navy, said city transportation director Cheryl Soon. The city has no plans now to build an alternate bike path in the area.

Q: Attached is a picture of a stop sign at Puu Panini Avenue and Kilauea Avenue, with a bus stop sign on the bottom and street signs at the top. Isn't this dangerous? The bottom of the bus sign is 55 inches from the sidewalk -- perfect for an unknowing child, whether walking, skateboarding or rollerblading, to hit. People know about poles and pipes, but a metal sign sticking out to catch your eye? I doubt it.

A: The Department of Transportation Services agreed the sign is a problem.

It has asked Oahu Transit Services officials to install a new signpost in front of the existing one, making sure the remounted bus sign does not obscure motorists' view of the stop sign.

The bus stop sign is to be mounted at a height prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to department officials.





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