No parking along Keeaumoku St. a holiday tradition - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

No parking along Keeaumoku St. a holiday tradition

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The already-tight parking situation in urban Honolulu just got a little worse.

Through December, parking is restricted along Keeaumoku Street near Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Plastic bags are covering the meters along the thoroughfare from Kapiolani Boulevard to King Street, and "No Parking" signs are posted, barring parking from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from December 2 to January 2.

Why?

"It's actually a tradition in Honolulu. It goes back at least 27 years and it's to free up a travel lane for traffic," said the city’s Department of Transportation Services Director Mike Formby.

Formby said the city does it each year in December as holiday shoppers flock to Ala Moana Shopping Center, creating more congestion on the roadways. Formby said eliminating parking on the roads allows people to get to their destinations faster.

For the most part, small business owners along Keeaumoku Street said they don't mind.

However, a small business worker said it's an inconvenience for employees who have to park along the street.

"I just think is that fair for us to block the street like that for only Ala Moana Shopping Center? I think it's not fair for us because plenty people park on the street and why we have to move for them," said Chutima Kaeo, who works at Thai Banyan Honolulu Massage & Spa.

Resident Olivia Ramie said she usually parks on the street because it's quick. "I don't want to have to see an attendant and tell them where I'm going. So usually it's great, in the mornings, in and out. So today a little different," she said.

All in all, the city thinks the parking shutdown does more good than bad.

"We know it's of some inconvenience to people and we apologize for that but we think more motorists understand the need to have travel lanes available. So we just take away the on-street parking for that one month period of time," Formby said.

For more information on where parking is restricted annually throughout the holiday season, click here.

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