STAR-BULLETIN / 2003
Takeshi Higashi walks briskly along the Pearl Harbor bike path. The Honolulu Police Department is considering stepping up police presence on the path.
Illegal activity suspected on path
I am an avid user of the bike/pedestrian path that runs from Pearl City to Aiea and beyond. What agencies are responsible for maintaining this excellent benefit, one that the community can be encouraged to use even more if it were visually better? Many of the steel poles that were placed at entrances to the bike path to keep vehicles out were removed. This lack of a physical barrier to prevent vehicles from entering the bike path behind Cutter Ford in Waimalu and Home World Furniture means cars are parked right next to the "NO PARKING AT ANYTIME" and "NO MOTOR VEHICLE" signs! Bikers and pedestrians are placed at risk. Let's also work on maintaining the path itself, cleaning and removing the overgrown bushes on each side. So who is responsible?
Answer: The city Department of Facility Maintenance's Division of Road Maintenance is responsible for maintenance of the bike path.
But beyond the unauthorized removal of vehicle barriers and illegal parking, there are concerns about more serious criminal activity and that's where the Honolulu Police Department also is becoming more involved.
You did say who you suspect removed the steel poles -- called "bollards" -- but officials are "not sure how the bollards were removed or by whom," said Larry Leopardi, chief of the Road Maintenance Division.
New bollards will be installed, he said, but "it won't be done immediately because we need to do some fabrication and prep work."
Meanwhile, "towaway" signs are to be installed before Thanksgiving, overhanging vegetation will be cut back and dumped tires will be removed, he said.
City officials suggested that more police patrols in the area would help, noting "possible/probable illegal activities" occurring in the bike path area.
HPD Capt. Ron Bode, of the Pearl City Police Station, acknowledged the need for an increased police presence on the bike path.
"There is criminal activity occurring along the bike path and we intend to address it," he said.
Illicit activities include the dumping of stolen vehicles and "small-scale drug activity," he said, ranging from sales and use to "individuals acting as drug couriers" along the bike path.
Bode noted that HPD's Pearl City District recently acquired six bicycles, while 11 officers (six on day operations and five on nights) received certified law enforcement bicycle training.
Once uniforms and proper equipment become available, "we will do our best to assign bicycle officers to the bike path," Bode said.
HPD "occasionally" receives complaints about parking violations along the bike path. Bode said he'll ask that beat officers check the locations you described for violations.
In addition to the Road Maintenance Division's cleanup activities, Bode said many other people, representing the city, state and military, as well as the private sector, are getting involved to clean up the length of the bike path.
This would include removing the mangrove growing in the water.
"I sincerely hope that this sees fruition -- the law enforcement and beautification benefits would be enormous," Bode said.
Ala Moana Gift Cards
It turns out that Ala Moana gift cards are not accepted by all merchants at Ala Moana Center and Victoria Ward stores, as we were told in response to an e-mail being sent warning people not to buy the cards (Kokua Line, Nov. 6
The gift card "is accepted at most stores and restaurants at Ala Moana Center," but not all, clarified Debbie Martinson, customer service manager.
The cards are also accepted by most, not all, Victoria Ward stores.
To three state park workers -- Kevin Mashima, Milton Hong and Glen Wakayama -- for finding our two dogs after they disappeared from a Manoa home in October. One was missing for four nights and the other for five nights in Waahila State Ridge Park. We are grateful for having them back and it was due to those three, who went out of their way to help us. -- Pearson Family
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