Free parking abuse at Ala Wai Boat Harbor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Free parking abuse at Ala Wai Boat Harbor

Rod Felton Rod Felton

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - A flare up in the fight over parking at a Waikiki boat harbor - it's a battle that's been going on for nearly two years.

This fight is about the free parking designated for recreational users only. There are complaints that construction workers have invaded it.

Clear signs at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. This free parking for recreational and harbor use only. Construction trucks take up some of the spots.

"If I wanted to use the beach here at noon, I would have to go use paid parking to use the beach and that is not right because this is for the recreational uses," said Rod Felton, a member of the Ala Wai Boat Harbor Parking Ad Hoc Committee.

Felton is involved in the fight to preserve free parking for boaters and beach goers. The Department of Land and Natural resources (DLNR) carved out 300 free parking spaces for them. Felton says construction workers are cheating.

"And that is our problem. You get people who that have to come down here. They bring their kids, they drop off their boogie boards and stuff and they have to drop them off, leave them here and then go try to find parking somewhere else," said Felton.

Felton says there's no enforcement, but DLNR says the committee never informed them about the problem. An administrator says they do plan on cracking down on violators.

"We're going to be going down with our enforcement staff, early morning hours when the parking opens just to let everybody know, give them a courtesy reminder that it's for recreational use only," said Ed Underwood with DLNR.

"This is the last free parking from Diamond Head to Ala Moana right now and we're trying to stop this from getting any less parking spots for our kids, our grandchildren, this is a future thing not just a now thing," said Felton.

The issue over free parking started after DLNR announced plans to get rid of free parking and meter the entire harbor. People complained, so as a compromise, DLNR kept a section free for rec users.

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