HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "It's a very big step."
Bill Saunders, attorney for Bickerton Dang, guarded his optimisim after Thursday's settlement conference over the barriers in place opposite Laniakea beach along Kamehameha highway.
"Without the court's order and without the cooperation of the state we'd really be nowhere, and it looks like we're there now, we're at a place where we can really move forward," he continued.
The barriers have been in place since December 2013. The State Department of Transportation, which is being sued by a group Saunders represents, has thus far balked at moving them. However, after District Court Judge Karen Nakasone ruled the state has 14 days to come up with ideas on how to allow public access to the parking site, that could change.
"They [the DOT] want to make sure the ground is level enough so people aren't going to trip and have a problem walking. They want to study the feasibility of putting in crosswalks."
The DOT is considering one-way access to the parking area coming from the Haleiwa direction. New signage would prohibit left hand turns into the area coming from the Kahuku side.
There is a hitch to all this happening. The City is now entangled because Managing Director Roy Amemiya gave the DOT permission to leave the barricades in place, on city land.
"To get the City's attention, we are proposing to join the city in a separate lawsuit because they've effectively closed the park recently" said Saunders.
Saunders expects to file the lawsuit by Monday. The DOT, City and plaintiffs are due back in court on August 24.