Peeved residents block installation of Bikeshare Hawaii rack

Updated: Jun. 9, 2017 at 7:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several irked residents blocked the installation of Bikeshare Hawaii's 40-foot bike rack in Pualei Circle near Diamond Head on Friday.

The residents say the community was never consulted and that residential areas like this are not the place for bikesharing.

And on Friday, they brought their coolers and set up chairs in the exact spot where the docking station was scheduled to be installed.

In its first phase, Bikeshare's Biki program plans to install 100 docking stations -- with a total of 1,000 bicycles -- between Diamond Head and Chinatown. The program is scheduled to launch June 28.

"To invite unwanted people into the neighborhood for access to a bike ... I think that was just taking it one step too far," said Lee Lockhart, president of the Diamond Head Condominiums.

But not all residents are opposed to the idea. Some say it will help people get out of their cars and promote a healthier lifestyle.

"I think this is the most perfect location for a bikesharing station because it would serve the entire neighborhood," said Pualei Circle resident Nguyen Le.

Company CEO Lori McCarney decided to pull the docking station from Pualei Circle after hearing from the residents.

She said her team has been spreading awareness about the Biki program and its locations for the last two years, but admits they could've done a better job.

"We tried to get in front of it. I'm sorry it was a surprise to people that's not our intention," she said. "Our process has been to work with the city and work with different property owners to find places where a bike share station can work."

McCarney said station sites, which hold up to 15 bicycles each, are picked based on population size, accessibility. They have to fall within the company's city permit.

She said these stations are not permanent and are not bolted down so she encourages the public to give the program a chance.

"Let it operate for awhile. See how it goes and if its not working out, we can move it," McCarney said.

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