Oahu community battles high surf, traffic dilemma

Oahu community battles high surf, traffic dilemma
Teddy Fernandez
Teddy Fernandez
Gil Riviere
Gil Riviere

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HALEIWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Beautiful weather, big surf and a flood of onlookers - that's what Oahu's North Shore community faces every winter and while it creates an economic boom businesses depend on, it also bites them back with gridlock on the roads and in parking lots. That has the community asking how they should handle that.

North Shore residents are torn between how much the area needs to grow. That's why many feel an upcoming community meeting addressing these issues will help them make smart decisions.

Teddy Fernandez grew up near Sunset Beach.

"It's quiet, peace, lots of memories, especially from the 60's, the 70's," he said.

But he feels many changes are needed to keep up with the changing times.

"What we gotta do is recondition our roads out here, because of the traffic and also the population is growing out here," he said.

A North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan is underway. It's one of seven development plans across Oahu. City leaders hope to come up with similar rules for all of its districts.

"The sustainable community plans are an important process because it gives the public an opportunity to voice their view on what character of the district will be in the future," North Shore Neighborhood Board secretary Gil Riviere said.

Riviere says one phrase describes what most in the North Shore want.

"Keep the country, country sums it up," he said. "The people who live here love it here and they want to keep it as much as possible as it is, with adequate improvements for the roadways, highways."

Fernandez also feels the future of the North Shore needs to be included in this plan.

"We have to create jobs so we can hold the young ones here and so they can enjoy as much as I enjoyed living on the North Shore," he said.

Riviere says they'll also talk about keeping agricultural lands as they are and building only within established communities.

A study is also underway to talk about widening parts of Kamehameha Highway and creating a bypass road near Laniakea Beach.

A community meeting addressing the North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan is scheduled for Monday at John Kalili Surf in Haleiwa at 7 p.m.