City Council considering bill requiring payments for parking on neighborhood streets
MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
School's out for summer, but parking is still at a premium in Manoa. Cars along residential streets are bumper to bumper forcing students and homeowners to scramble for the first available space they can find. Manoa's parking problem has been a sore spot for years, but a new bill under consideration at City Council may give residents some relief.
Bill 52 might provide relief for residents wishing to park along neighborhood streets, but it could turn out to be a nightmare for the thousands of commuters who rely on the free parking, students like Palolo's Jake Smith.
"If you come up here past 8 or 9 o'clock, you're not going to find anything along this block," said Smith as he walked along Oahu Avenue. The University of Hawaii Junior is among the thousands of UH commuters who could find free parking even more scarce if the city restricts parking here. The problem in Manoa and other Oahu communities is there's no place to park for residents.
"We get complaints Ewa, Ewa Beach. We get complaints Makiki. We get complaints Kapahuluu. Lanikai's a big one," said Honolulu Transportation Services Director Michael Formby.
Formby believes Bill 52 can provide residents with the relief they need. He said, "It allows us to establish zones. And in these zones it allows us to give preference given to certain people to park on the street."
What the bill, should it become an ordinance, also does is force others to look at other ways to commute.
"If you're as student and I can park my car, and park in a neighborhood, and walk to school and in the future I won't be able to do that then you might take public transit," said Formby. "You might decide to car pool. You might decide to get to school another way other than parking in a residential community and depriving somebody else who lives in that community of their parking space."
Smith said he doesn't think it'll be that easy, "I don't think it is realistic because we have jobs and other things that we need to get to."
For now the bill does not specify any particular neighborhoods where the restricted parking zones would be created. Some residents who spoke with Hawaii News Now said that while they need relief, they also sympathize with students. They just don't want them blocking their driveways. What concerns homeowners even more is the potential cost of the program.
At present the projected fees could run as high as $65 for a single two-year residential permit. Residents would have the option to purchase as many as four. They could also buy guest passes that range from a $1 day pass up to a $30 annual permit. As drawn up, residents would have priority when it comes to obtaining the passes. Businesses located in or adjacent to zones could also petition for permits.