Some worry Kailua bike lane could worsen parking woes

Some worry Kailua bike lane could worsen parking woes

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you've driven down Hamakua drive in Kailua in the last couple of days, you've noticed them: Cones, lots of them.

They're there as part of a City and County traffic study. The city Department of Transportation Services wants to determine whether or not a bike lane on the roadway is feasible.

Cycling enthusiasts are excited at the prospect.

"Kailua is a great biking community," said Daniel Alexander, of the Hawaii Bicycling League. "So many people enjoy biking already, so really it makes sense to build on that."

Alexander says the potential bike lane would be a vital artery connecting Kailua town to Enchanted Lake.

"For them to get over into town and enjoy all the commercial areas of Kailua town, there's really no good way right now," Alexander said

The obvious concern for motorists: A traffic bottleneck at a major intersection in town.

However, the city collected data before putting up the cones, and was satisfied enough to proceed.

The biggest problem isn't necessarily the traffic flow, but the 20 to 25 parking spots that would be lost along the street. All the employees of the shopping center along Hamakua Drive depend on those spots.

"We're not allowed to park in here because it's so busy," said Charleston Jones, a former employee of one of the stores.

He says daily parking is a headache, and taking those spots away across the street would only make things worse.

"It'd be a lot harder to get here and Kailua is already getting nuts traffic anyway."

So what if the employees biked?

One manager told us most of his workers drive because they have second jobs they have to go to after their shift is done. Foodland is the anchor store in the shopping center, which also includes Big City Diner, Quizno's, Baskin Robbins and Prima.

The cones will be taken down Thursday at 6 p.m.

Once data is compiled, the findings will be presented to the neighborhood board.

No firm timeline has been set on when a bike lane could be added.

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