HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is planning a major remodel of Ala Moana Regional Park, and renderings released Friday how officials plan to tackle everything from parking congestion to the park's entrance.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell says when the park was envisioned in the 1930s, it was supposed to have an entrance at Piikoi Street. He says it's time for that vision to become a reality.
"Right now, the only way most people enter is they come from either the Ewa or Diamond-head side of the street," he said.
City planners also want to restore and upgrade McCoy Pavilion.
Caldwell also promises to keep all 948 free parking stalls. One concept the city will eliminate makai-side parking to allow for more biking and walking. To keep the same number of spaces, the city will double mauka-side parking and rearrange the spaces diagonally.
Jason DeMarco swims at Ala Moana Regional Park three times a week and has family beach days there on the weekends. He says he likes the plans, but has a few suggestions.
"They're not currently reflecting any increase in parking, and something that I've noticed over the years using this park is that when you come out here on the weekend, it's really difficult to find somewhere to park," he said. "I might encourage the mayor and his team to look at a net increase to parking."
Caldwell has also been criticized by City Council Chairman Ernie Martin, who says too much time and money is being spent on the park when others are in need of a makeover as well.
But Caldwell defends his actions.
"I do want to emphasize, we're not ignoring our other parks," he said. "As you know, we put $20 million more in our park budget," Caldwell said.
To learn more about the park renovations, click here.