North Shore community addresses potential ban of commercial tour - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

North Shore community addresses potential ban of commercial tour buses

(Image: Blake Mcelheny) (Image: Blake Mcelheny)
(Image: Blake Mcelheny) (Image: Blake Mcelheny)
(Image: Blake Mcelheny) (Image: Blake Mcelheny)
WAIMEA VALLEY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The North Shore Neighborhood Board held a special meeting Tuesday night to address ongoing concerns with commercial tour buses.

Residents voiced their frustrations about buses stopping to drop crowds of tourists at public parks and beaches, adding to major traffic jams.

"This guy decided to drive up on to the sidewalk next to the fire hydrant, blocking the road, blocking the sidewalk, and he’s not idling he’s just sitting there," described resident Rick Ames as he motioned to a photo of a tour bus illegally parked.

"They're overrunning the areas for the local people that live here," said another resident Dena Fitzgerald. "We can’t get to the beaches because there are so many tour buses."

Joining the discussion were City Councilmen Ernie Martin and Ikaika Anderson.

Anderson, who represents Kailua and Waimanalo, helped pass legislation that prohibits commercial activity and tour buses on Oahu's east coast.

The North Shore hopes to follow suit, but Anderson said it won't be easy. 

“I’ve always believed that the residents right to access our parks supersedes the right of anyone to make a dollar,” Anderson said. "If this community wants to follow in the path of Kailua, you could face an uphill battle."

A few tour bus employees attended the meeting, but no one spoke in opposition to the potential ban.

However, Justin Remais, who owns The Surf Bus, did offer some solutions like having his drivers take a different route along Ali'i Beach Park.

The meeting concluded with the North Shore Neighborhood board passing a resolution asking Martin and Anderson to work together in implementing regulations designed to ensure that tour buses do not limit the public's right to access public parks.

Such regulations will be similar to those enacted at Kailua and Waimanalo parks."

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