A Kakaako encampment of cars is set to disappear (and so is the parking)

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the past year, the shoulder of Coral Street between Ala Moana Boulevard and the University of Hawaii School of Medicine has disappeared under a growing encampment made up of tarps, tents and at least 14 junk cars.

People who work nearby say they're forced to walk in the street —and that's not the only hazard.

"The dogs out here. They're just kind of all over the place," said CK Villejo.

Added Bethany Schwartz, "Some days are worse than others. I've just really been avoiding it."

Hawaii News Now highlighted the situation last month. And now, the city is taking action.

Ross Sasamura, of the city Department of Facility Maintenance, said the city is going to be enforcing the stored property ordinance next week.

He said the work will cause delays "not only because we're enforcing the stored property ordinance but because as we go on from there, there will be ongoing work for maintenance and repairs.:

The area used to be highly-used for free public parking, but Sasamura says after the cars that have been turned into homes are hauled away the city will re-stripe the road and install no parking signs along the shoulder.

"Parking along shoulder areas is not allowed by ordinance already. After we finish our work that area will be enforced as a no parking area," he said.

That wasn't good news for those who work in the area.

"It will be a challenge for us all," said Villejo.

The process of notifying campers of the sweep will begin this week. On Wednesday afternoon, outreach workers were on site handing out food and offering illegal campers a new place to stay.

Marc Alexander, of the mayor's Office of Housing, said there don't appear to be any children living in the area.

The city said it's expecting to wrap up the project by Jan. 8.

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