Some say trendy 'Trikkes' pose pedestrian safety hazard in Waikiki

Some say trendy 'Trikkes' pose pedestrian safety hazard in Waikiki
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Aloha Trikke Tours sells a new way of sightseeing. Owner Eddie Keliinohomoku calls the excursions cultural treks on comfortable rides.

"Basically, it is an eco-friendly, electric powered Trikke, just like a Segway, but it has three wheels," he said.

The company does guided tours to Magic Island and Diamond Head that include riding on Waikiki sidewalks, like Segways are allowed to do.

"We limit and govern the speed to under 3 miles per hour, which is a pedestrian walking speed," Keliinohomoku said.

But Waikiki businessman Dave Moskowitz believes Trikkes should be treated like bicycles or skateboards, and outlawed from riding on the sidewalks in Waikiki.

"They weave in and out of pedestrians walking along the beach, do 360s. I've seen them going down the streets, wrong way in the car direction," he said.

Kelliinohomuku said that's not true and his Trikke tourists ride single-file and can't take off on their own.

"We're never crowding the sidewalks and we always yield to pedestrians," he said.

Aloha Trikke Tours is one year old. There are no city or state laws regulating their vehicles.

State Rep. Tom Brower, who was behind a Segway sidewalk law, said that might need to change.

"I think there are differences between the Segway and the Trikke. But for the purpose of law, the government may have to see these devices as similar," he said.

Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa added, "We need to take into consideration the impact of these devices on pedestrian safety and how they can be operated in a manner that does not impede or disrupt the walk-ability of Waikiki,"

Meanwhile, Kelliinohomuku said police have never ordered his vehicles off the sidewalk, and they've never been involved in an accident. Police are "monitoring and watching, making sure we're not doing anything funny or putting anyone in danger, or jeopardizing anyone's safety," he said.

The company has 18 Trikkes, but limits tour groups to six people.

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