Park or Ride - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

February 27, 2008

Park or Ride

The Honolulu City Council is talking about reducing in-town, off-street parking as a means to increase the number of people who will ride on the planned multi-billion dollar mass-transit system. I guess that means that parking in town will start looking like the game of musical chairs- too many cars for too few spaces. Would that encourage more people to ride, or will people who now come into town simply get fed up?

If the idea is to discourage parking to force leeward-area people to use the rail system, what about those people who come into town from the windward side or Hawaii Kai or other parts of Oahu that won't be served by the planned transit routes? What about in-town retailers, home owners and apartment renters who already have limited parking options? Obviously, a lot of people who live and work in town are not people who will use the transit, and if those people are deprived of parking spaces, where will they go, and what will they do? If someone is going to be late for work or school or an appointment in town due to searching for those dwindling parking places, what does that have to do with rapid transit goals?

The good news is that issues such as this are being laid out now, publicly, transparently, so that everyone can comment, and hopefully, solutions will be found before the final drawings are printed and the first shovels go into the ground. This system needs to work on many levels for both the users, the non-users, and the can't users, with some obvious growing pains and discomfort along the way. Think about it...

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