Solutions to swap meet traffic are tough to find
Are there any plans to change the Kaonohi Street entrance to the Kam Super Swap Meet across from Pearlridge Shopping Center? It has been quite a while since this situation was addressed and I understood that the swap meet owner and/or the property owner had agreed to move the entrance elsewhere. The entrance to the swap meet creates an extremely dangerous situation for pedestrians as well as motorists at the intersection of Kaonohi Street and Moanalua Road. The swap meet is held three times a week, and the problem is especially bad during the busy Saturday morning event. There are so many things wrong with the current entrance that it is unbelievable that it was created and then allowed to remain.
Answer: Problems with the existing entrance are long-standing and long discussed, but all other possible alternatives pose their own problems and safety concerns.
For now there are no plans by the property owner to change entrances, said William Clark, chairman of the Aiea Neighborhood Board.
The board has been in the midst of discussions over the past few years regarding moving the entrance. There just hasn't been a workable or feasible relocation site, Clark said.
The last attempt "was an experiment to open the gate on the makai side of Moanalua Road across from the Pearlridge Elementary School," Clark said. "That turned out to not to be a good place."
That gate opening resulted in traffic traveling Koko Head on Moanalua Road blocking one lane of Moanalua Road as cars waited to get into the swap meet.
Then vehicles traveling Ewa on Moanalua blocked the makai-most lane while trying to turn left into that gate, Clark said.
On top of that, drivers parked along the curb lane heading Ewa, and people then jaywalked across the street to get into the swap meet. Vehicles also parked in the Pearlridge Elementary parking lot, then jaywalked over to the swap meet.
"The swap meet could not afford to hire more special duty officers (to monitor the situation) so it was decided to close that gate," Clark said.
Meanwhile, the swap meet's exit road, adjacent to Kentucky Fried Chicken on Kaonohi Street, also was considered for a new entrance.
But that lane causes "the same problems (as the current entrance) and more," Clark said.
Those options all explored, city and Honolulu Police Department officials have worked with swap meet management and reached an agreement about how to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.
"What seems to be working now is that two officers are at the Kaonohi Street entrance," Clark said.
Traffic lanes have been defined on the swap meet property to guide vehicles from Kaonohi Street to booths, which collect parking fees, at the end of the lanes, he said.
"When those storage lanes are full, the officer at the entrance closes a gate and directs vehicles away from the entrance, thereby clearing the road and any congestion at the intersection of Moanalua Road and Kaonohi Street."
The owners of the nearly 14-acre swap meet site, at 98-850 Moanalua Road, are listed on city property records as Pearl City KDI Investors LLC, Pearl City Consolidated LLC, Pearl City -- CP Properties LLC, Pearl City -- Dome LLC and Bordwest LLC. Central Hawaiian and Consolidated Amusement Co. are listed as lessees.
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