Decision to remove Haiku Stairs now in Mayor’s hands after council’s unanimous vote

HNN File / Haiku Stairs
HNN File / Haiku Stairs
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu City Councilmembers are reluctantly in favor of removing the famed Haiku Stairs.

The council voted unanimously Wednesday to remove the stairs which have attracted countless thrill seekers attempting to hike the illegal area over the years.

Trespassing has been among the issues plaguing the area. Lawmakers also say proposals to reopen the stairway through a managed-access contract have not been feasible.

“Due to rampant illegal trespassing, Haiku Stairs is a significant liability and expense for the city, and impacts the quality of life for nearby residents,” councilmember Ester Kiaaina said.

Councilmembers are also concerned the maintenance bill for the stairs will only add up.

“The city has already spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer dollars to remodel the stairs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in security costs. Nearly two decades have passed and the various city agencies have not done much since then,” councilmember Brandon Elefante added.

[Read a related report: Group plans peaceful rally at Honolulu Hale to save popular Haiku Stairs]

The so-called “Stairway to Heaven” was built in the 1940s to service military communication stations on the windward ridges. The debate over what to do with the stairs has been ongoing.

Although the vote to remove them was unanimous, four members said they had reservations.

Mayor Blangiardi will have the final decision. There is about a million dollars in the city budget to pay for the removal.

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