By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) – Dozens of people who live and work in Kalihi attended a workshop Monday to share ideas on how property around transit stations can be developed. The city's 20-mile rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana will have 21 stops. Three of those stations will be in Kalihi.
"For a resident I think the opportunity is you don't have to drive on H1 In bumper to bumper traffic to get to your place of employment. That's the primary service that transit systems provide is from your house to work," said Terry Ware, Transit Oriented Development Manager for the city. "Hopefully because of the development that we are able to direct around it means that when you get off the train you can stop by the dry cleaners and pick up your clothes, you can stop by the grocery store and pick up that evening's dinner, you can stop by and pick up your child from day care, and then walk a few blocks to high quality housing. That's the vision," Ware added.
He said transit stations give nearby business an opportunity to thrive.
"If the stations are going to be near certain businesses, it'll be hub for attracting more people," said Marukai Market Vice President Roy Ishihara who attended the workshop.
While many think rail stations will make their neighborhoods more "walkable" and bike friendly, some say they'll make neighborhoods unbearable.
"In themselves they are inherently a blight because they are running anywhere from 40 to 50 feet overhead. They are the size of a football field. There is tremendous noise going in and out," said Oahu resident Tom Coffman who attended the workshop to hear what the city had to say about transit oriented development.
The city will build the rail stations. It will not develop property around the stations.
So we asked Ware how ideas discussed at the workshop could possibly become reality.
"Most of the development that is going is going to be the result of private investment, a developer or someone who has capitol is going to say, well should we invest in this area? And what they are looking for is certainty in the process. By defining what it is people want, we can provide that certainty instead of a developer coming in and having to guess whether they want a grocery store or should I do housing - we can provide them with a plan that says from the year we spent with the people in the community, this is what they said they want," Ware said.
A workshop to discuss transit oriented development in downtown Honolulu will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 6 pm in the conference room of the Hawaii Community Development Authority (461 Cooke Street).