Long Awaited Parking Area Opens at Makapuu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Long Awaited Parking Area Opens at Makapuu

Lorita Leonhardt| of Waimanalo says the new parking lots are a welcome addition to Makapuu. Lorita Leonhardt| of Waimanalo says the new parking lots are a welcome addition to Makapuu.
This is the breathtaking scenery many stop at Makapuu to enjoy. This is the breathtaking scenery many stop at Makapuu to enjoy.

by Stephen Florino

MAKAPUU (KHNL) - A stretch of highway in East Honolulu is now a bit safer.

That's what officials are saying after opening two new parking lots just off Kalanianaole Highway.

"It's far safer for everyone travelling in this area or those who want to enjoy the Makapuu Point Lookout, or looking at the Makapuu Lighthouse," said Peter Young, chair of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The two new lots provide 55 stalls to visitors, and a paved pathway.

Getting there used to be challenging. People had to park along the road, cross the busy Kalanianaole Highway, and maneuver through the traffic.

"It can get pretty dangerous," said one visitor. "Lot of trucks coming around. People aren't driving that slow. Just gotta time it right."

"We're getting those people off the road," said Young. "We're making it a far safer environment for them and with that we believe a far more enjoyable experience at this park."

The improvements cost $5 million in federal money and took about a year to complete.

Young says the 55 stalls should be enough for most days. He says the community was against having a large parking lot there, and so were officials.

"The point is to try and blend the lot as best we could into the environmental area, and provide enough stalls for most of the people would have a way to get there," said Young.

Young expects it to be really crowded during whale watching season. He say if the lots are full, visitors will have to park along the roadside, but the shoulder lane is wider now, so they should be safe.

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