STAR-BULLETIN / OCTOBER 2006
Many small businesses and restaurants in Kaimuki share this municipal metered parking lot, which is being converted to a privatized attendant lot that is scheduled to start operation by Aug. 15. Sean Akita, who owns MechaHawaii, a Japanese anime hobby shop next to the parking lot, believes the attendant parking will be a business killer for a small businesses like his.
Kaimuki metered lot opening in 2 weeks
Some equipment will still be missing when the parking facility starts operations
Parking attendants will begin operating Kaimuki's municipal parking lot within two weeks, according to the lot operator.
"The equipment will be working no later than the 15th of August," said Tezra Lee, general manager of Republic Parking Northwest, which will operate the lot between 11th and 12th avenues.
It is the first phase of the city's plan to convert the metered lot to a privately managed lot, in response to residents' complaints of a parking shortage.
Parking rates at the lot will be 75 cents an hour for the first two hours, doubling to $1.50 an hour after that.
The city hopes to discourage people, such as employees, from parking for long periods of time, taking up parking stalls.
"We may encounter some complaints but we expect that," Lee said. "Overall, it's going to be a smooth transition. We expect that we'll have a greater turnover of occupancy."
When Republic Parking Northwest begins operating the lot, the company has one year to make improvements such as resurfacing, landscaping and fulfilling federal disability requirements.
For now the company is awaiting the city Department of Enterprise Services' approval to begin operations.
However, some equipment still will be missing when the lot starts operating. The lot's two electronic pay-on-foot stations will not arrive for another four weeks, leaving motorists to pay attendants at the exit booths.
Once the pay-on-foot stations are installed, drivers will be able to insert cash into the machines and get their tickets validated so they can leave from any exit gate.
Another change at the lot will be the traffic flow in driveways along 11th Avenue.
The driveway nearest Waialae Avenue will switch from an entrance to an exit, while a two-way driveway near Harding Avenue will convert to a larger entrance to accommodate delivery trucks.
"We've had a lot of positive support from the community there," Lee said. "We hope that we'll continue to receive that same support."
Eduardo Hernandez, chairman of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board, said some of the businesses had initial concerns but that the construction had gone smoothly.
"We're just hopeful that they can get it done as quickly as possible," he said.
Attendants will be on the lot from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekends and holidays.