Plans pitched for bike paths along the Ala Wai Canal

Bicyclists push for a two way bike lane along the Ala Wai
(Image: Daniel Alexander)
(Image: Daniel Alexander)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii bicyclists are ramping up efforts to expand bike path options along the Ala Wai Canal.

Currently, there is a 4-foot-wide designated bike lane that flows one way alongside traffic, but some say it's too narrow and too dangerous.

"It's a pretty harrowing journey even for an experienced cyclist," said Daniel Alexander, advocacy director for Hawaii Bicycling League.

Alexander proposed two plans to the Waikiki Neighborhood Board Tuesday night.

One of them creates a narrow dirt path in the grassy area. The other proposal uses the third traffic lane for both parking and travel.

"That parking would become like many places we have here in Honolulu where during the peak hours, morning and afternoon rush hours, there would be no parking, then the parking would be there the rest of the time," said Alexander.

Both plans aim to provide a safe, two-way bike path. Currently, cyclists are forced to use Kuhio Avenue or Kalakaua Avenue if they want to travel east. Some are all for the proposals.

"Right, take the parking out of there, that would be terrific," said bicyclist Larry Maser.

Opponents believe the plans just aren't feasible and would cause more harm than good. 
"You're either going to go fight the city for the grassy area or fight the people to take out the parking," said Linda Wong, vice chairman of  Diamond Head, Kapahulu and St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board. "I don't think either one of those are going to go."
"I don't think it's really makes any sense, we need lanes for traffic, for bikes and we need parking," said bicyclist Kai Lagrimas.

Alexander is hoping board members realize the importance of the issue enough to push the City to make some much-need changes.

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