UH urged to improve campus parking
A coming dorm will tighten parking even more, residents say
People who live near the University of Hawaii at Manoa are asking the university to take care of the parking shortage on campus before a new $61 million, 814-bed dorm is completed in 2008.
"If you build it, more (students and cars) will come," said Nadine Nishioka, chairwoman of the Manoa Neighborhood Board.
A recently completed environmental assessment for the project found that even though no new parking spaces will be built, "parking requirements will be met via current campus parking." It also found that housing more students on campus will reduce traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours and "will also have the effect of reducing parking demand," according to consultant Julian Ng.
Area residents disagree with those findings.
Ron Lockwood, chairman of the McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board, noted that the university's own surveys show the No. 1 reason students leave the dorms is because of a lack of parking.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Parking on Dole Street was at a premium Friday. Area residents fear the situation will worsen after a new 814-bed dorm is built.
"Parking on Dole Street is dorm students warehousing cars," Lockwood wrote in his comments. "When a student wants to leave, a friend moves their car into the spot until the first person returns from either work, cruising or whatever."
Lockwood said student parking on Dole Street comes on top of the need for parking for the Wa'ahila Faculty Housing, the Hawaiian Studies Building, the National Marine Fisheries building, Hokulani Elementary School and Kanewai Park, also the site of soccer practices in the fall and baseball leagues in the spring.
"How can we put in dorms without parking and expect kids to pay more for the same dorms?" Lockwood asked.
The city Department of Transportation Services also requested an analysis of whether parking requirements can be met with current campus parking and of the impact that the driveways into the dorm would have on Dole Street traffic.
Jan Yokota, director of capital improvements for UH, said in a written response that the university is revisiting its parking policies and will be encouraging students who live in the dorms not to bring cars to school.
Dorm resident Kyle Klinger said he was able to get a parking pass and shares a car with two friends. Parking passes are limited, Klinger said, and freshmen and sophomores cannot apply for them.
"This is a commuter school," Klinger said. "Students are going to bring their cars here."
Many students have to work to pay for tuition and housing and need a car, he said.
Some women come home from work late at night and have to park up to a quarter-mile away. "That's not very safe," he said.
"It has been apparent for a long time that affordable parking has been an extremely weak link in the growth of the campus and should be considered a limiting constraint," wrote Karen Ah Mai, chairwoman of the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board, in her comments on the environmental assessment.
Despite the concerns, the board still voted to support the project as long as the university takes a serious look at improving the parking situation on campus.
"They've promised to look at it," Ah Mai said. "We know it's a hard problem."
The Manoa and McCully/Moiliili neighborhood boards are waiting for more information from the university about the parking situation before taking a stand.
Wayne Iwaoka, UH-Manoa's vice chancellor for students, said the university is trying to discourage students from bringing cars to campus.
They are also encouraging bus use -- a bus-pass form is included in student housing applications -- and are taking other steps to encourage bike use.
Iwaoka said he is writing a letter to Mayor Mufi Hannemann asking for a bus stop adjacent to the resident halls.
Last year, the Hannemann administration canceled bus route 303 that went from the dorms to Kaimuki, Kapahulu and Waikiki. So students who live in the dorms must now walk to University Avenue or to Waialae Avenue or King Street to catch the bus to Waikiki.
In the long term, UH-Manoa hopes to build a $59 million performing arts center* with a six-story parking structure behind Kennedy Theater.
The governor's office released $2 million to plan the project, said UH-Manoa spokesman Jim Manke. But it's not clear when the project will be finished and unlikely it will be completed by fall 2008, when the new Frear Hall dorm opens.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
» A performing arts center and a six-story parking garage are planned in back of Kennedy Theatre. A Page A1 article Sunday did not mention the performing arts center as part of a $59 million project.