Biki expansion plans run into possible roadblock near Waikiki

Biki expansion plans run into possible roadblock near Waikiki
Published: Jul. 13, 2018 at 1:39 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 13, 2018 at 10:51 AM HST
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WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some residents near Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head want Biki to backpedal on its expansion plans for the area.

Bikeshare Hawaii has plans to add 10 Biki stops near Kapiolani Park, and another three to five stops near Diamond Head State Monument and Kapiolani Community College.

"It's my home. And I want to be treated like it's a home and not a commercial area," said Diamond Head resident Barbara Mahon.

She supports Biki, but doesn't support plans to put a stop for 12 bicycles on the grassy area fronting the Diamond Head Ambassador apartments, where she has lived for 17 years.

"We have people who do use bikes, but usually they have their bikes in the basement in a storage area," said Mahon. "It's so residential, I don't think there would be that many people coming."

Other residents in her neighborhood agree.

"It's going to bring noise, congestion ... and we're concerned about people getting hurt with the driveways going in there and out on this side," said another Diamond Head Ambassador resident, Peter Whiticar.

Want to offer feedback on the Biki expansion? Click here.

Other proposed sites include the area near the chapel at KCC, an area behind Diamond Head Theatre, and one in Waikiki near the Queen's Beach food concession.

Biki also wants to put a stop in front of Waikiki Elementary School, right next to a busy intersection and the school's driveway.

The school's administration was less than enthusiastic.

"At this point, I don't really see the need for having something that could be a safety issue with our children," said Ryan Kusuda, a school vice principal, at Thursday night's meeting of the Diamond Head-Kapahulu-St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board.

Despite a fair amount of vocal opposition, there are supporters who say the Gold Coast residential area and Kapiolani Park need the access that Biki would provide.

"Right now parking is terrible, so when my friends want to come and meet us, sometimes they say no because there's no parking. And then they don't even just come to the park and the beach," said Asia Yeary, whose mother lives in the area.

The city stopped Bikeshare Hawaii from installing Biki stops around Kapiolani Park last year after the park Preservation Society complained that the program is a commercial operation.

But Biki officials say the park is one of their most heavily-requested areas.

"We continue to look for alternatives that respect the trust boundaries, try not to take parking, but also serve the area," Justine Espiritu of Bikeshare Hawaii told the neighborhood board. "So this is a continuous process."

The board wasn't convinced.

It voted 11-1 for a resolution calling for Bikeshare Hawaii to "cease and desist" from attempting to build any Biki storage stations in and around the park and the Diamond Head State Monument.

The board voted for a similar resolution in May.

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