Honolulu Zoo, Kalakaua parking fees to go up in July

Dave LeFors
Dave LeFors
Valerie McFarland
Valerie McFarland
Robert Gentry
Robert Gentry

By Leland Kim - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - One key issue affecting the late Honolulu City Council Member Duke Bainum's district is a bill that would raise parking fees at the Honolulu Zoo parking lot, and on Kalakaua Avenue.

An amended version of the bill (Bill 25 CD1) passed 7-1 late Wednesday afternoon.

These are the meters we're talking about, right next to the zoo. Right now, you need four quarters to park for four hours. Starting next month, you're going to need sixteen quarters. Folks who use the park say it doesn't make much sense.

Beautiful beaches like these are the reasons why so many people flock to Waikiki. It's an obvious tourist destination, but locals come here, too, and when they do, they park at the zoo.

Wednesday afternoon, the Honolulu City Council passed a bill raising parking fees at the zoo from 25 cents an hour to $1 an hour.

"I think they need to look at other places for their additional revenues," said Dave LeFors, a Kaimuki resident. "A little bit of revenue off this parking lot seems reasonable but not at the level they're trying to get the money."

"Raising parking meter rates at our beaches adds to widening the gap between the haves and the have nots and I view this as a form of classism," said Valerie McFarland, a Waikiki resident.

"So there are a number of senior citizens who utilize parking around the park, and this would be quite detrimental to those who are on fixed incomes," added Robert Gentry, president of the Gold Coast Neighborhood Association.

The zoo parking lot fees have not been raised since 1980, and some council members say the increase is necessary to generate more revenue for the county.

Almost all who testified opposed the increase, saying it would cause further hardship to Oahu residents who are trying to get by.

Now, if you find parking along Kalakaua Avenue, it's going to be a bit cheaper; only 50 cents an hour.

The parking fee increase goes into effect July 1.