Homeless and their dogs moving back into Nimitz area, despite pricey new fence

Homeless and their dogs moving back into Nimitz area, despite pricey new fence

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The rubbish that used to spill out onto the Mapunapuna bike path is gone.

But if you peer through a recently-installed fence you'll see new piles of trash quickly taking its place.

In November, the Department of Transportation paid $318,000 to clear out an entrenched homeless encampment and build a chain link fence that spans from Ahua to Middle streets parallel to Nimitz Highway.

While there are fewer people living beneath this side of the Nimitz viaduct, bike path users say many of the problems are the same.

"On this side it seems like there is no dogs really. On that end there is still dogs," said resident Jason Perez.

Perez walks the path every day. He says the fence does nothing to contain a pack of dogs that roam near the Keehi Transfer Station.

"I just kind of watch myself. What can you really do," said Perez.

While in the area, an outreach worker warned Hawaii News Now not to enter certain areas.

"I would rather not go beyond the walk way," said Justin Phillips, of the Institute for Human Services.

From the top of the bike path, Hawaii News Now spotted close to a dozen unleashed dogs roaming the camp below.

And there was another problem: The new fence doesn't appear to be keeping anyone out.

"The bolt here is somehow loose and it just slides right open," said Phillips.

That's not the only place the fence has been damaged.

"On the other side of the bridge there is a big gate. It appears to be open," Phillips said. "There's cars now, a Camero, a white truck underneath and the only way to access that is the bike path. That's a concern cars driving down the bike path."

Close to the compromised gate, Hawaii News Now also spotted a big pile of stripped copper wire.

State transportation officials didn't comment on whether the fence is working.

Officials did say the agency hasn't  received reports of any incidents involving stray dogs since the fence was installed.

There's no word on when Transportation Department might be back in the area to do another clean-up.

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