Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Safety issue forces
Kaimuki to cut parking

Question: On 9th Avenue in Kaimuki are two produce stands that have been operating for years. There is about 15 feet of concrete between the sidewalk and the produce stands where compact cars have parked diagonally without obstructing the sidewalk. Customers pull into the area for a quick stop. The fact that there is no curb indicates that the area was designed for exactly that kind of diagonal parking. As I understand, police have told the produce stand owners not to allow parking in front of their stalls or they will issue citations. Consequently, the owners have put out orange cones to prevent parking. These vendors are exactly the kind of small business that our city should be encouraging. Why curtail a parking practice that has been in effect for years?

Answer: Because of safety concerns.

Police cracked down on the parking there because of "numerous complaints" about cars blocking the sidewalk, forcing people to walk on the street, according to Sgt. Glenn Maekawa, with the Honolulu Police Department's East Honolulu District.

He said the complaints have come from both pedestrians and motorists.

Before the produce stands were constructed, cars were allowed to park in that area.

However, the stands took away space on private property "so that cars could no longer park there without blocking part of the (public) sidewalk," Maekawa said.

While compact cars allow some walking space, "larger cars do block pretty much all of the sidewalk."

Police initially tried to work with the vendors, asking them to talk to their customers about not blocking the sidewalk.

But "that didn't work and we contined to get complaints," Maekawa said.

The vendors suggested eliminating parking on the other side of 9th Avenue, "but that wouldn't really solve the problem because people would still be walking on the street," he said.

When police last talked to the vendors, they deferred to the property's management company, which indicated it would post "no parking" signs, Maekawa said.

An alternative to preventing the parking would be to build a curb, Maekawa said, acknowledging that would be a costly alternative. "We just want to settle (the problem) and make everybody happy without having to go to any extremes," he said.

Q: I go to the Waipio soccer fields every weekend, and they took the portable toilets out. Why? It is so far from certain fields to the restrooms.

A: The Navy asked that they be removed.

Unfortunately, the portable toilets were within a blast zone area surrounding the ammunition loading docks at Pearl Harbor, according to William Balfour, director of the city Department of Parks & Recreation.

"We were asked to honor our lease agreement for the property that prohibits permanent structures" within that area, he said. The portable toilets are considered permanent structures.

The city is looking for alternatives to provide more convenient public restrooms, Balfour said.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --