Firefighters have reason to take parking
I'm a sort of watchdog in the Hawaii Kai area. I see firefighters when they come to buy groceries, coming in a big firetruck instead of a car or station wagon They take away a lot of parking spaces from the shoppers, parking in the middle of the shopping center and not in the side or in the back. I've reported this but they keep doing it. Why don't they park somewhere where they're not inconveniencing shoppers? I hope the chief knows about this.
Answer: Perhaps when you hear why the firetrucks are parked where they are, you might be a little bit more understanding.
First of all, even when they're shopping, firefighters are on duty.
"A basic principle in emergency response is a rapid turnout time, which means boarding the apparatus and beginning a response," explained Capt. Terry Seelig, spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department.
"Firefighters must be able to respond to an emergency quickly and safely, even when shopping for groceries."
He said firefighters park their vehicles "reasonably close to the entrance so that they can easily exit and respond quickly."
This might take up several parking stalls, Seelig said, but this is not done out of arrogance or inconsiderateness, but to give them room to move out quickly.
"Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause," he said. "Firefighters pride themselves on serving the public and do their best to be good neighbors."
Q: Here in upper Palolo, as in other areas, street parking is all most people have. However, there are some folks who insist on taking up two spots, either because they can't park or their truck is too big. There are also folks with two and three vehicles. Can I get the city to paint parking lines on the street? I've tried being polite and asking folks to be aware of how their parking affects their neighbors, but all I got was a one-finger salute. Any other suggestions?
A: Unfortunately, if your neighbors aren't parking illegally, there's really no way to force them to park properly or with consideration of others.
And there's no limit as to the number of vehicles a person or family can own and park on a public street.
You can ask the city Department of Transportation Services to paint parking lines on the street, although it's not a given: You have to work through a process, including surveying your neighbors.
As we've explained in the past, the department said it would consider the markings if at least 90 percent of the affected property owners/residents on both sides of the street are in favor of having marked stalls and if the area's neighborhood board also supports the move.
Call the department at 768-8334 (Hawaii Kai to Liliha) or 768-8315 ("outlying Oahu region") to request the survey forms.
But be warned: The Department of Transportation Services says adding marked stalls to a street generally results in one-third fewer vehicles being able to park legally on the roadway.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
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