Parking lot crackdown at Manoa Marketplace angers drivers
MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Manoa Marketplace customers are seething at a new parking policy they call outrageous. New signs were posted earlier in the week warning drivers their vehicles will be immediately immobilized or "booted' and/or towed if they walk off of the property.
Hawaii News Now cameras captured several cars with boots attached and one shopper, Karlyn Ching, paying to get an immobilization device off of her car tire. "As soon as I stepped off, someone across the street at the sandwich shop told me go get back there. I came back, my car was already booted, " she said.
It's common practice at the marketplace; People park, do some shopping then run across the street to Andy's sandwich shop or Starbucks.
Since the new policy however, punishment has been swift. "As soon as somebody gets out of the vehicle and starts to go across the street, they sprint up, attach that boot," said shopper Ikaika Jobe.
The mainland owners of the marketplace property were prompted to take action after conferring with their tenants. "The issue has been that over the last few months it's been a growing problem as the centers gotten busier," said Aryeh Aslan with Levy Affiliated Holdings in California. He says after numerous complaints about a lack of open spaces, the tenants of the marketplace agreed to start the crackdown.
Bob Sison owns two shops at the marketplace and says it was time to put his customers first. "At lunch time it's very difficult and some of the customers find themselves having to park on the streets. It's really unfortunate that it's got to go to such an extreme but sometimes actions got to be taken," he said.
Andy Rodrigues whose sandwich customers have parked in that lot for years says he's had to start warning his customers about the new policy but says he's gotten gripes from the tow service company. "One of the tow truck people walked into my store and assaulted my wife verbally. That ticked me off."
Each time the tow company removes a boot they've installed, they charge $160 dollars to un-install it. And it has to be in cash. "That's the irony of it all, is I took the 160 bucks out of American Savings Bank which is on property," said Ching.
The property owners say they will regroup with the tenants and discuss the overwhelming feedback. "Since there's been some backlash and see if they think that it's best for us to continue this route, if they do it's going to maintain the policy," said Aslan.
Ultimately the message from the market place tenants felt it had to do with fairness.
"It's unfortunate, we do our best to take care of our customers and we would hope that other business owners would do the same for theirs by providing adequate and able parking," said Sison.