Kaimuki parking lot prices will rise
Stays longer than two hours will cost more, which should open up more stalls
Construction machinery will start soon to convert upper Kaimuki's parking lot from a metered lot to one with an electronic system.
During the next several weeks, crews will install underground equipment for the electronic system. A larger project -- repaving and restriping the road -- will not begin until several months later, said Tezra Lee, general manager of Republic Parking Northwest, the company running the lot for the city.
It is the first phase in converting the city-run metered lot on Waialae Avenue between 11th and 12th avenues to a gate system with an attendant and tickets.
The city decided to hire a contractor to run the lot as an inexpensive solution to renovating the property while increasing the number of parking spaces.
During the first phase of work, about 10 to 20 stalls will be lost as crews dig trenches for underground electrical conduits, said Darin Mar, city transportation project manager for the parking lot. The work will be done during daytime hours, in sections, ending no later than 6 p.m. Crews will cover the trenches after work to minimize the impact on parking from construction.
He said the parking company is on target to install the new system by mid- to late June.
"Once it does begin, the work will go rapidly," Lee said. "The effect should be minimal and we'll try to keep it that way."
After Republic switches to the new system, motorists will take a ticket at a gate and validate it at a walk-up pay machine. An attendant will be on site during business hours for assistance.
Republic's rates will be 75 cents an hour for the first two hours and $1.50 an hour afterwards, including a 20-minute grace period. The current rate is 75 cents an hour. Currently, the city continues to collect money from the meters.
As part of Republic Parking's three-year contract with the city, the company will pay the city $24,000 a year in addition to 3 percent of the property's gross income. A provision adds the option of extending the lease by two years.
The city raked in an average of $600,000 a year from the lot the last four years.
The new parking system would open up spaces by discouraging workers from parking at the meters all day, city officials said. However, there was disagreement about whether an additional 20 to 30 spaces would be created during the restriping process.
Ginny Meade, executive director of the Greater East Honolulu Community Alliance, a community advocacy group, said the new system is a step in the right direction. She's worked 15 years to find a solution to Kaimuki's parking crunch, she said.
"If this works, it's finally giving the parking lot back to the community," Meade said recently. "I'm very much in favor of it."