LANIKAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens packed the cafeteria at Ka'ohao Elementary School in Kailua Tuesday night to voice concerns over a popular east Oahu hiking trail.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is in the process of developing a Ka'iwa Ridge Trail master plan, commonly known as the Lanikai Pillboxes Trail, following years of growing frustration.
"Erosion is a really huge concern," said Marigold Zoll, Oahu Branch Forestry and Wildlife Manager. "The number of people using the trail and the way they're using it in a disrespectful way, causes a lot of disturbance to the community."
The meeting included a powerpoint presentation by consulting firm PBR Hawaii followed by a cell phone polling.
The crowd was asked questions about hiker management and trail use.
Data collected will help the state determine the best plan to support long-term sustainability and maintenance of the 1.25 mile trail.
"The state is looking to use this particular trail as a template to be able to fix everything else around the state," said Rep. Chris Lee, (D) Kailua. " So if we could get the community on board with this and get a template that works, then that's something that can be exported to all other areas that have similar concerns."
Tom Dwyer lives near the trail head. He believes state officials need to focus first on tackling the traffic due to increased commercialization.
"If they're going to improve the trail, they have to do something about the ability of the people to get there safely with their automobiles," he said. "I think that's where they need to start because the street isn't wide enough."
Officials hope to draft a physical and management plan by August.
Additional public meetings will be announced in the months ahead.