KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On weekends and holidays Lanikai gets flooded with beachgoers, parking is at a premium, and illegal parkers block the bicycle lane on the loop that winds through the Kailua community. It's a routine residents expect and dread.
"When they put a ticket on the car, the car will remain there all day sometimes. And the car is still causing a problem," said Chuck Gray.
He's lived on the loop for 34 years. He said when parked cars clog the bike lane pedestrians are forced into the street and into harm's way.
"It's just a matter of time until somebody is badly hurt," Lanikai resident Neil Frazer said.
At its worst, both sides of the street get jammed. There have been times when emergency vehicles have gotten stuck trying to squeeze between the parked cars.
"It's not safe the way it is," Frazer said. "If you have a heart attack at the beach the ambulance is not going to able to get to you."
Frazer and his Lanikai Residents Action Hui has collected signatures from nearly 600 Lanikai households. They are asking the city to ban parking on both sides of the street.
"It would definitely not force more cars on the side streets because more cars are already filling the side streets," Gray said.
Another group, the Lanikai Association, also wants to end the illegal parking.
"The Lanikai Association has been pursuing a community process whereby residents and owners have selected two options for consideration that will promote greater safety," president Mike Groza said.
One of the association's ideas eliminates parking on only the bike lane side of the street. The other mirrors Frazer's idea.
So where will people park if parking on the loop is restricted?
"Locals will know to come early and park on the side streets and tourists will walk in or take bicycles, which a lot of them do now. I think that's a better experience for everyone," Frazer said.
Groza said the Lanikai Association will meet with city transportation officials later this month. The Kailua Neighborhood Board will hear its ideas during a February meeting.
In the meantime, Frazer will continue to solicit support for his plan.