Marine Corps Base Hawaii responds to wheelchair accessibility complaint during BayFest

Brian Kajiyama
Brian Kajiyama

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) - There are new details on the safety concerns raised during the Black Eyed Peas concert at BayFest.
Last week, KHNL reported a story about a Kailua resident who went to the concert at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), and found the event dangerous for those with disabilities.
The complaint was about wheelchair accessibility. MCBH responded, admitting that its plans for guests with disabilities did not work out as expected.
Brian Kajiyama of Kailua says BayFest staff told him there was no section at the Black Eyed Peas concert for people with disabilities.
After the concert, his mom was not allowed to pick him up in his modified accessible van at the disabled parking area. That forced Kajiyama to ride his motorized wheelchair for a mile on the roadway, right alongside passing cars, just to get to his ride.
"It was quite eye-opening to see how inaccessible some locations of the base were such as the sidewalks that had no curb cuts which forced me to ride in the streets alongside traffic," said Kajiyama.
In a letter to Kajiyama from MCBH, Commanding Officer R.D. Rice said there was in fact a section at the concert for those with disabilities. But Rice says ushers and staff gave Kajiyama incorrect information, and mistakenly told his mom she couldn't pick him up at the disabled parking area.
Kajiyama says he appreciates the letter and MCBH's willingness to better prepare for future events.
However, he's still concerned about the curb cuts. Kajiyama says there's a lack of them, and believes that doesn't comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
A MCBH spokesperson says it's a gray area because the ADA does not set specific standards for curb cuts.
KHNL's request to go on base to check out the sidewalks was denied.