The public parking lot behind First Hawaiian Bank off of Waialae Avenue is usually crowded as cars and people compete for a limited number of stalls.

Kaimuki businesses want
parking structure

A city-commissioned study suggests
several possible solutions

Several Kaimuki merchants support a proposal to build a parking structure in the business district, saying street parking and two municipal lots are not enough to accommodate their customers.

"We have no more room for growth," said D.J. Colvert, owner of Prosperity Corner on 12th Avenue. "We need to build a structure."

The proposal was one of several possible solutions to Kaimuki's parking shortage outlined in a $75,000, city-commissioned study, which was released in September and presented to the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board last week.

The study's authors recommended building a three-story automated parking garage near the intersection of Harding and 11th avenues. Other options, they said, would be to attach an automated garage to an existing garage at the Board of Realtors building on 12th Avenue, or construct a conventional parking garage over one of the city's two municipal lots in Kaimuki.

Estimates on how much the options would cost were not included in the study.

The report also proposed short-term solutions, including re-striping city parking lots to add more spaces, having valet parking at peak times and designating delivery zones outside of customer parking areas.

Kaimuki Neighborhood Board's vice chairwoman, Lori Yamada, said officials hope to institute some short-term fixes by December, in time for the holiday shopping rush.

She said long-term solutions are also being looked at, but added that the board has not yet taken a stand on whether a parking structure would be right for Kaimuki because members are waiting to hear from more residents and businesses.

Both mayoral contenders say they would support a parking structure in Kaimuki if businesses and community members are also behind it.

"If the community can come to a consensus on a secure parking structure, a public-private partnership may offer long-term financial benefits to the community," said candidate Duke Bainum, who represented Kaimuki for eight years on the City Council.

Mufi Hannemann said the project would be a priority if it is given the go-ahead by the community.

"I'm obviously open to finding a solution," Hannemann said, "because we all know it's a problem."

On Saturday, municipal Lot A on Waialae Avenue was full, and few motorists were finding spots easily.

"Every time you come here, there's no parking," said Ryan Bangay, who lucked out and found a spot in a far corner. "You just got to wait."

Businesses say they are frustrated with the situation, which they say has gone from bad to worse since the late 1990s. But shop owners also worry about where their customers will park while a garage is being built over an existing lot.

Susan Minser-Will, who owns Shop Girl on Waialae Avenue, says she tells her customers not to come at lunch. Otherwise, she says, they will drive around the municipal parking lot behind her clothing boutique for as long as half an hour before finding a spot.

After or before noon, she adds, the situation is a little better. But not by much.

"I'm losing business because of the parking situation," Minser-Will said. "My clients can't get here."



E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com