Residents applaud new parking ban in Lanikai

Residents applaud new parking ban in Lanikai
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is banning parking in Lanikai on the bike lane side of the loop, a move applauded by residents who say severe congestion on weekends and holidays has become a safety concern.

"No parking" signs will be installed by month's end, and police will start issuing tickets. Violators who park on the bike lane will get a $200 ticket; other parking infractions will cost $35.

"We're trying to balance the needs of the public with access to the beach with also public safety," said Mike Formby, city Director of Transportation Services. "It's really two public needs and we're trying to find that happy medium."

While residents say the ban will ease traffic in the area, they're not optimistic that the problems will go away.

For one, they said, tour vehicles are still coming through and illegally stopping on the roadway. "They can come in, they can drop off. Sometimes they leave and pick up, but often they just wait," said longtime resident Kristine Giannasio.

Beachgoers, meantime, are left to fight for fewer spots, and many of the homes have trees or rocks on the easement that could be used for parking.

"If somebody has done on the loop and they've gone through DPP and they've gotten the variance, then it's legal," Formby said.

But not all are, and the city will investigate any complaints.

The parking issue in Lanikai is fraught with issues, and some charge the affluent community is being treated differently because of its pricey ZIP code.

But residents say they're asking for help to congestion that's gotten so bad on some weekends that emergency responders have trouble getting through.

"It's a step in the right direction in that it limits the number of cars coming in so that people can get in and out and not get stuck in the gridlock," Giannasio said.

Meanwhile, the city will still enforce total parking bans for Lanikai during three-day holiday weekends.

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