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Maui mayor details possible solutions to mitigate traffic congestion on Hana Highway

Officials estimate between 400 to 600 people drive Road to Hana every day.
Officials estimate between 400 to 600 people drive Road to Hana every day.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 7:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With an influx of visitors arriving on the island, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said a better solution is needed to mitigate traffic on Hana Highway.

In a briefing Friday, Victorino said the increased congestion in traffic is preventing police from responding to crime across Maui.

“A choice must be made between enforcing parking violations or responding to the thousands of calls that MPD receives each week,” Victorino said. “I’m sure our citizens agree that enforcing crime is a higher priority than parking violations, but we are working toward other solutions.”

As tourism returned, Victorino worked with state legislators to install approximately 70 signs along the road to Hana to discourage illegal parking by warning of a $35 no parking fine and a $200 surcharge for illegal stopping on a state highway.

Despite the warnings and fines, the Maui Police Department issued 389 parking citations and 83 warnings since June 1 to violators on Hana Highway between Haiku and Hana town.

With MPD reduced to 80% of its usual staff, Victorino said they are spread thin.

As a temporary fix, the county said it is working with airlines to voluntarily reduce flights into Kahului.

Victorino said he hopes hotels and car rental businesses can also help educate visitors and help them schedule their travel around the island.

“We’ve also asked hotels and others to ask people to better schedule their trips out, not only to Hana, but all around Maui,” he said.

Victorino said he is also working with the state to create more pay-to-park areas along the highway.

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