STATE LEGISLATURE | THE NEIGHBOR ISLANDS
Traffic is hot topic for Maui candidates
WAILUKU » State Rep. Kameo Tanaka faces a Democratic primary race against business publisher Angus McKelvey in the 10th District, where snarled traffic especially in West Maui is becoming a political issue.
McKelvey, 38, co-owner of the Maui Historic Walking Guide, has been speaking out about the problem of increasingly slow traffic in West Maui and publicly asked Republican Gov. Linda Lingle to declare a state of emergency.
McKelvey, a former state legislative aide for the Senate Ocean Management Resources Committee, said a declaration would enable the state to indemnify landowners who would allow alternate routes to be used during peak hours and special occasions.
He said a declaration would also allow the state to quickly fix shoreline roads.
Lingle has said a state of emergency is not justified because the situation poses no immediate threat to life or property.
Tanaka, 69, said McKelvey can write to the governor but that it will not do any good.
"It's not an easy thing where they can just do it," he said.
Tanaka said the state Department of Transportation is planning a Lahaina bypass, and the first leg of construction is scheduled for 2008.
Running for the same seat under the GOP banner are Ben Azman, a physician, and Kay Ghean, a former Maui County Republican chairwoman.
A nonincumbent 11th District race has attracted several South Maui candidates, including longtime greenway advocate Joel Bertram III, ILWU hotel union representative Stephen W. West, former Maui County Bar Association President Graham Mottola and property tax reform advocate Tony Fisher.