City Councilman Ikaika Anderson has prompted the forming of a task force to recommend what should be done with the Stairway to Heaven. It's illegal to hike the Haiku Stairs but that doesn't stop people from trespassing over private property to make the climb.
"It's been a constant struggle – disturbances, crime, trash, just any number of negative issues from the hiking population. The area attracts a lot of crime from other groups," Haiku resident Ken Rose said.
He said taxis drop off hikers as early as 3:30 in the morning, creating a noise nuisance for people who live at the base of the trail.
The task force has 90 days to reach a consensus. The recommendation will be sent to mayor Kirk Caldwell as to whether the stairs should be opened for hiking or closed permanently.
"The hope is that the task force with all of the expertise that it has can come to a consensus with the landowners to re-open. If we can't come to the consensus to re-open then I would say enough is enough. And we need to move on," Anderson said.
The task force is made up of representatives from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate, the Board of Water Supply, Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, the Haiku community and others.
The city spends $70,000 a year for security to guard the entrance to the stairs.