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Residents: No parking signs, lack of enforcement amplify Hana Hwy. problems

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:38 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 11:30 PM HST
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EAST MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sightseers often park illegally along Hana Highway in East Maui, which residents say is causing hazards and headaches for many drivers.

In response, the Hawaii Department of Transportation installed no parking signs warning of a $235 fine at various popular visitor attractions along the road to Hana to help keep traffic moving.

However, residents say many tourists are now parking beyond those signs and walking along the dangerous highway, making traffic even worse.

“Rainy, wet, slippery roads, people walking around, babies in their hands, just jumping out of the door. They not even looking left or right,” said Keanae resident Wendy Miguel.

Miguel says there are apps, websites and numerous publications which promote hikes that require trespassing on private property. She said the newly-installed signs aren’t working because there is no enforcement.

“Where is all the authority that’s getting a paycheck? Where are they?” Miguel asked. “I went to the Mayor’s Office, I went to the police department, I went to state highways … is anybody hearing us? What is it going to take?”

East Maui state Sen. Lynn DeCoite said “enforcement is key” and called on the county to step up enforcement.

“The county should really be focusing on enforcing,” DeCoite said. “They should concentrate of a budget that will keep our police department or off-duty officers there.”

DeCoite said the county should also partner with local tow companies to remove illegally parked cars along Hana Highway.

“Cars that are being ticketed and are not moved can still be towed,” said DeCoite. “I think this can be worked out with a company or maybe several companies that exist on Maui.”

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