HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Friday the city will install a protected bicycle lane on the Ewa side of South Street in Kakaako, similar to the one on South King Street.
"We'll see more people riding in the urban core because they'll feel safe, and they won't ride on our sidewalks which jeapordizes our pedestrians," he said
It will be the first mauka-makai protected lane that connects to the King street track.
"We think there's adequate capacity because the street is wide but we still want to engage the community We know there's going to be some pushback," Transportation Department director Michael Formby said
The bike lane will take away a lane of traffic and could remove street parking on the Ewa side. It will pass in front of Kamaka Ukulele's building.
"If the plan is to continue to add more bike lanes and take away more driving lanes then that affects the commuter," Fred Kamaka Jr. said.
Operators of Restaurant Row worry about safety with a bike lane crossing its garage entrance and loading zone.
"The proposal from the city was to remove the loading zones in full. We're firmly against that," Steven Sullivan said. "They did provide some modifications to that. But it would severely impact our tenants and customers in that area."
Formby said bike ridership in the King Street lane shot up by 88 percent since the protected path was put in last year.
There's talk of other mauka-makai lanes.
"Piikoi would be great to connect down to Ala Moana Beach Park and up into Makiki. Ward Avenue obviously has a lot of development here in Kakaako," said Daniel Alexander of the Hawaii Bicycling League.
Unlike King Street, the city won't put in asphalt berms along the South Street bike lane. Installation of the lane will begin later this year.
The public is invited to attend a public meeting on Tuesday, Sep 1 at 6 p.m. in the Hawaii Suites at the Blaisdell Center.