Why is the gate at this popular trail closed? The state can’t afford to have someone open it.

Updated: Jun. 25, 2020 at 5:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail continues to draw large numbers of hikers on weekdays ― even though no one can park in the trail’s parking lot.

The gate is locked, which is a surprise to hikers who show up expecting to park inside.

"I would love if this parking lot was open. I'd feel a lot safer. Just park and walk up," hiker Alyson Toavs said.

She brought her young son along and was carrying a toddler. Like others whose vehicles lined the opposite side of Kalanianaole Highway, Toavs had to cross the street.

“There’s no crosswalks here,” Stanley MIller said. “There’s no designated area so it seems like it could be pretty dangerous for somebody who maybe can’t move as quickly to get across the street.”

The State Parks Division said because of the state’s budget crunch it can’t afford to pay the overtime needed for someone to close and lock the gate during the evenings on Monday through Friday.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said administrative staff open and close the gate for the Makapuu Point trail on weekends only.

Some hikers are sympathetic to the state’s situation.

But others think the safety of the public is being overlooked.

“I think that there should be money to be paying the employees to open and close these gates,” hiker Aupuni Cazinha-Ayers said.

Jefferson Basuel agreed.

“Just the inconvenience of just parking on the side of the road and trying to get in. That’s it,” he said.

The department hopes lawmakers will find money to solve the problem.

“It can’t be that expensive to open up a gate and have somebody come out here for a minute and open the gate or close the gate twice a day. It doesn’t seem like a good reason not to open the parking lot,” Miller said.

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