Thursday, September 2, 2004

City & County of Honolulu

City cuts its plans
to reduce parking

Bending to pressure, the project now only
removes stalls on one side of Young Street

The city has scrapped controversial plans to remove parking from both sides of Young Street and put parking spaces in a median as it starts construction today to add only bicycle lanes.

Chris Sayers, bicycle coordinator for the city Department of Transportation Services, said the city decided on the smaller-scale plan because area landowners and businesses complained about the median curb plan.

"The median curb has been eliminated," Sayers said. "All we're doing is removing parking on one side of the street, adding bike lanes on both sides, repairing some of the sidewalks where they're damaged and putting in ADA (wheelchair) ramps where there aren't any."

Phase 1 stretches from Victoria Street to Pensacola Street. The city expects to complete the work in 1 1/2 months, Sayers said.

Some of the other changes include closing the makai side to parking, eliminating eight of 34 curbside spaces between Victoria and Pensacola streets. But area land and business owners said the city has not kept them informed of its plans.

Young Street Coalition President Francis Kaneshiro said he found out yesterday that the city was beginning construction. Kaneshiro is part-owner of the building at 1040 S. King St., whose parking lot entrance and exit are on the street.

"I think we've been sandbagged," Kaneshiro said. "If they tell us what they're going to do, that's one thing. If they ignore us, that's another. That's why we're pushing for an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment."

Kaneshiro said he does not want the city to push through a beautification plan without community input as it did on Ala Wai Boulevard and Lunalilo Home Road.

Bikeways are exempt from environmental assessment, and the work will not affect traffic because the lanes are going to be the same width, Sayers said.

Kaneshiro said at least eight parking spaces will be lost. "The city is taking away a community resource."

Kaneshiro said employees park along Young Street because area businesses reserve their spaces for customers.

The Young Street project is one component of the Honolulu Bicycle Master Plan.

City & County of Honolulu



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