Residents on the Leeward Coast are frustrated after they say the city didn't clearly communicate a project at a popular Oahu beach.
On Thursday, crews from the Department of Parks and Recreation began placing coral rock boulders to help restrict illegal off-roading at Tracks Beach Park.
The city said the action came after the community brought up concerns. Those concerns included the safety risk of beachgoers illegally driving on the shoreline, which is not only a public safety hazard but also contributes to beach and shoreline plant erosion.
But the chairwoman of Nanakuli/Maile Neighborhood Board said blocking beach access completely is not what the community wanted.
"All we asked for was more police presence, especially on the weekends when people are driving on the beach, to make sure people don't get hurt," said Cynthia Rezentes."And two, to try and provide some kind of barrier between the vehicles and the people. Not to get rid of enough parking for probably 30 vehicles a weekend."
Rezentes said Tracks Beach in Kapolei is a popular spot for families and surfing and is busiest on the weekend.
People often park their vehicles on the sand when the designated lot becomes full.
"If they can't park in here, I think you're going to see parking along Farrington Highway which will be very dangerous," said Rezentes.
Rob Kramer fishes at the beach every week and was shocked to see the barrier up Friday morning.
"We couldn't drive up on the sand to launch the kayaks where we normally launch from and we had to try and find a new spot," he said. "It's really frustrating and it doesn't make any sense why they would do that."
Honolulu City Councilmember Kymberly Pine says the community voiced its concerns and the city listened. For that, residents should be grateful.
"We can fix whatever they want us to fix, but I think we first should thank those city employees that made the Waianae community a priority because other communities wanted those same barriers," Pine said.
Rezentes said she's glad the city is stepping up its efforts, but wishes it included the community in its plans and timeline of the project.
"Of course, we're appreciative that they've done something but again, the manner in which it was done and where it was done and how it was done, I think could have been handled much better," said Rezentes.
The city plans on placing 50 tons of coral rock boulders at Tracks Beach Park and will continue the work next week.