Hikers want state park open earlier citing safety concerns
MAKAPUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Spectacular sunrises are one is of the reasons why hundreds of hikers travel to the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail in East Oahu wee hours in the morning.
"Every day that weather permits because it is so spectacular," said Barbara Durkin.
The state park does not technically open until 7:00 a.m. and sunrise lately has been around 6:30 a.m. In the summer time it is around 5:45 a.m. So some hikers are calling on the state to open the gates earlier.
"It seems to me there's enough of a demand that they should open this gate," Durkin said.
Durkin said Honolulu police officers were manning these gates on Tuesday morning threatening to cite people who crossed before the park opened. Durkin said police told her they were trying to stop an increase in vehicle break-ins lately while hikers leave their cars along Kalanianaole Highway. Plus, there are concerns about pedestrians who cross the road in the dark, while some cars speed around the blind curve at Makapuu.
"I've seen people crossing the street pushing baby strollers or whole families with little children crossing the street out here," she said.
HPD spokeswoman said, "Officers were at Makapuu to address safety concerns caused by the large number of cars parked along both sides of the road and pedestrians walking back and forth. Limited lighting and visibility along the road and trail was also a concern at that time of the morning. No vehicles were cited."
The Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman said, "State Parks typically open the gate at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline by 6:15 am on weekends, and a little before 7 am on weekdays (our advertised opening time is 7am). State Parks does not presently possess the staffing to open any earlier and meet other critical park servicing needs."
Durkin said no staffers, no problem.
"If you don't have the resources to get somebody here earlier to open the gate, just leave it open."
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