By: Paul Drewes
Waikiki (KHNL) - Its one of the last free parking lots in Waikiki, but now the thought of paying to park is making waves with surfers who use the popular lot.
In order to catch a wave at the waikiki break,
drivers need to catch a break getting a parking space at the Ala Wai boat harbor.
Competition for these spots between boaters, surfers and area workers has the state looking at two plans for a managed parking lot. It would have enforced rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Under one plan , public users would have to pull a ticket and pay the hourly rate. but ocean users would get a three hour grace period. "That would be perfect, if surfers could get three hour grace period that would be perfect, you normally take 2-3 hours to surf. I think the surfers would be happy." says Kent Ragan, a Waikiki surfer.
But others coming out of the lineup are not so eager to sign up for the state's plan. "Week days we could deal with it but weekends we'd like to keep it open as long as we could. Especially free of charge." says James Kalinger, another Waikiki surfer.
Under another parking plan being looked at by the state, the lot used by surfers would not be managed along with the rest of the spaces. But would be designated for recreational users only.
"If they just designated a certain amount of spots just "surfer only" or "beach parking only" I don't see what would be the problem with that." says Christophe Jackson, a fellow surfer.
But those using the free lot and not using the beach could be towed, under the state's plan.