Mayor monkeying around with parking rates at Honolulu Zoo

Linda Wong
Linda Wong

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - The mayor may be monkeying around with parking rates at the Honolulu Zoo.

It means a stop there could cost a chunk of change. The city is trying to cut down its 50-million dollar budget deficit, but some residents feel - it is fees gone wild at the zoo.

City officials are proposing a carload of fees, including a parking charge near the zoo that some say accelerates too fast.

The city is proposing an increase of 25 cents to a dollar-fifty an hour at both the zoo parking lot and the stalls at the Mauka side of Kalakaua Avenue between Monsarrat and Paki Avenues.

Some people feel the city is nickel and diming them when they only have nickels and dimes left in their wallets.

It's normal for a Sunday. Parking on a stretch of Kalakaua Avenue is scarce. But what's scaring people even more is the fact they may have to pay about a dollar more per hour to park here.

"It's totally illogical to me that they go from 25 cents to a $1.50 an hour, especially since everybody's so stressed out about money," Honolulu resident Linda Wong said.

But Honolulu city officials say they haven't raised parking fees in this area since 1980. So to them, it's like catching up to these times.

"It may seem a lot at once, but if that parking rate had been raised a little bit every year for the past 30 years, it would be about the same today as the administration is proposing," City spokesman Bill Brennan said.

Along with the parking fees, the city is also looking into raising the fees to get into the zoo.

Admission for the zoo could go up from four to five dollars for Hawaii residents. for visitors, it may rise from eight to 12 dollars and one to three bucks for kids.

"I think it's fair, it's gonna generate an extra $860,000 which puts only a small dent in the 50 million dollar shortfall the city was chasing," Brennan said.

A chase that hopes to end with both the city and its residents parking on a compromise.

If you'd like to weigh-in on this parking issue and other proposed fee hikes, here's your chance. There's a budget committee meeting, starting at nine Monday morning.