Speedy roll out of new bike sharing stations upsets community members

Updated: Jun. 13, 2017 at 10:41 PM HST
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WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's more opposition to the city's new Bikeshare Hawaii program as crews continue to install 100 docking stations from Chinatown to Diamond Head.

This time, Waikiki businesses who worry it will hamper their bottom line, are pushing back.

"I don't know what's happening," Brent Chase, co-owner of Chase Hawaii Rentals said. "I just saw stands coming up and they're just coming in by the truckload."

"This is our livelihood and we provide for our families," said Larry Valle, owner of Big Kahuna Motorcycle Tours and Rentals. "They may say they're just bicycles, but you know what, they are our bread and butter."

Valle said crews installed three docking stations along Seaside Ave. on Tuesday, including one right across the street from his business of 15 years.

"Do they have to be that close?" he said.

Valle and other business owners said they were never informed about the program, but the company's CEO said otherwise.

"We have had 456 news stories since January 2015," said Lori McCarney, CEO of Bikeshare Hawaii. "We've visited over 650 businesses, we've gone to the neighborhood boards, pop up events and open houses. When Bikeshare comes and there's a station there, people will congregate in that area then they look around and say 'I didn't know this business was there,' then they walk in. It brings people back to the street level."

The company began installing stations six days ago.

On Friday, it decided to pull one of its docking stations from a Diamond Head neighborhood after residents blocked the installation by staging a mini protest with coolers and beach chairs.

However, some support the new stations.

"I think it's really great because the more cars we can get off the road the better," said Waikiki resident Terry Stelle.

Mccarney said she expected the pushback and that the company won't slow its pace. She is certain the program will provide a positive alternative to cars and parking.

"It's difficult," she said. "We can't please everyone, but we are working to solve a problem for everyone."

You can view the map showing where stations will be installed here.

Mccarney promises to have all 100 docking stations in place by June 28.

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