City opens new bike staging area
Kaimuki resident Troy Wouters says he likes the new pit stop on his daily bicycle route along Diamond Head Road.
It is nice to have a bicycle staging area to rest that is clean and safe, Wouters, 46, said.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann spoke yesterday at a dedication ceremony for the Waialae Kahala Bicycle Staging Area, located near the Kapiolani Community College chapel.
"We have a great cycling community. Many people use their bicycles for recreational purposes, to go to work and obviously to come to school," Hannemann said, noting the staging area will be great for bicyclists.
"We often do not pay enough attention to those who use their bikes. We want to do that. We want to work with the Hawaii Bicycling League ... so that we can create more opportunities like this," he said.
Hannemann thanked the community college for donating the land for the staging area.
The 11,000-square-foot project was initiated by the previous city administration. Work started in November 2004 on a fitness court, comfort station that includes a bathroom and changing area, landscaping, a bicycle rack, outdoor table, benches and a water fountain.
Cost of the project was almost $700,000.
Louise Pagotto, acting Kapiolani vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the facility will not only cater to bicyclists, joggers and walkers, but those who shop at the farmer's market held at a parking lot near the chapel every Saturday morning. "This will be a great service for the community," she said.
The staging area will be maintained by the city, while the community college will open and close the comfort station, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Kristi Schulenberg, executive director of the Hawaii Bicycling League, said she was ecstatic about the opening of the facility.
"Facilities like this are not just recreational resources, but signs of encouragement to the community to come out on their bike and ride and engage in an active lifestyle," Schulenberg said.
She said she looks forward to many more bicycle-friendly facilities to be constructed. "We have a long way to go, but this is the kind of thing that helps us get there to make Honolulu a bicycle-friendly city," Schulenberg said.
She said the Hawaii Bicycling League, made up of 1,100 members, was successful this past legislative session after a bill was signed that earmarks about 2 percent of federal allocated funds from the state Highway Fund for bikeways.
Act 166 is to set aside about $2 million or more to help implement the state bicycle master plan, Schulenberg said.