Waikiki residents rally to stop parking fee increase

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - With parking already at a premium almost everywhere around Waikiki, area residents say a rate hike will only have a negative effect on businesses and tourists attractions.

"We're all ill about it, actually it's an insult to everybody in Honolulu," Waikiki resident Peg Hogan said.

As Honolulu city leaders look to put the brakes on a $50-million dollar budget deficit, parking fees around Kapiolani Park and the zoo may accelerate at an alarming rate of speed.

But residents have come up with new efforts to stop the city from raising parking rates.

They wore red because they want this proposed bill to stop. They also handed out fliers explaining the steep increase. some even stopped drivers to get their point across.

"We are so happy to live here, such a beautiful place, but to spoil it for the sake of a few bucks, find the money somewhere else, let the public around here enjoy what they have," Hogan said.

For more than 50 years, Hogan has enjoyed living in this area. So does the other 30 people who joined her in Saturday's rally. But this enjoyment may take a backseat if the parking rates go up.

"So many people come down here with their children to go to the beach, enjoy the park and this way, they won't be able to, they can't pay 10 dollars to park for a few hours," Hogan said.

But city leaders have said they haven't raised the parking fees in this area since 1980. So to them, it seems like catching up to current times.

It's a 600 percent increase, right now you pay just a quarter per hour, but come July 1st, you may pay five more quarters, totaling a $1.50 per hour.

"It's a community affair, we're all out to help one another," Hogan said.

A few council members are on board with hogan and others at this demonstration. But they still need the support of at least one more councilman to put the brakes on this issue.