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Mayor calls just-planted
Mary Steiner, president of the Outdoor Circle, said that saving the trees was important to her organization.
"We did not want to see those trees destroyed," she said. "These trees are all going to have homes eventually."
Hannemann said he made his decision after consulting with the Outdoor Circle and several community groups in Waikiki.
Yesterday, Parks Director Lester Chang and Steiner walked the three miles to inspect each of the 350 trees that lined the sidewalks and the median strip along Kuhio and touched each tree.
"I'm much more confident today of this plan because of the timely input from the Outdoor Circle. I feel we would not have gone forward had we not had their blessings," Hannemann said.
Steiner said her organization's phones were "ringing off the hook" when the news about the administration's plans for Kuhio Avenue were announced.
"We think that the administration and the mayor has come forward with a really balanced plan," she said. "We understand the safety concerns, yet we still fully believe that the beautification of Waikiki, which is what matters most to us, is going to be intact and we're really appreciative of that."
Steiner said one of the remaining issues is whether to replace 13 of the newly planted monkeypod trees with 13 shower trees for design reasons.
Chang said there was no maintenance plan in place when the trees were planted, but the administration will be maintaining the trees that remain.
"There was really a rush to get it out, plant the trees and worry about the maintenance cost later or leave it for the next administration," said Hannemann, who has used his mantra of "Do we need, can we afford, can we maintain it" as a criterion to determining whether projects should stay or go. "I think now we have a better handle of what it's going to cost to maintain the trees, but, most importantly, you can't put a cost on public safety."