|Photo shows Windward City Shopping Center|
on right, with busy u-turn area
in blue, proposed turn lane in red
and relocated crosswalk in green.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Kaneohe’s Own Update On Local Developments
Here is an update on local developments, from our February meeting:
Kamehameha Highway at Windward City Shopping Center is experiencing frequent backups as vehicles and pedestrians mix at a busy u-turn gap, a community member told the Board. The gap allows access to the shopping center, a medical clinic and other facilities for vehicles and pedestrians along the divided highway. The gap also has become a focus for drivers trying to bypass long traffic lights. The community member recommended two fixes for the problem: carving a turn lane out of the median Pali-bound and moving the crosswalk to the Pali side of the gap. Board Chairman Maurice “Mo” Radke said he would send the recommendation on to City staff for consideration.
Kaneohe Beach Park is plagued by violence and illegal camping, a nearby resident told the Board. The resident said the disruptive activities are a constant source of anxiety in the surrounding neighborhood. She said illegal campers stay in the park’s bathrooms and run hoses from them to use as personal water supplies. She asked that the bathrooms be locked and encouraged the police to take action. A Honolulu Police Department representative said the Department patrols the park frequently and urged residents to call whenever they see suspicious activity in the area.
Honolulu Police Department’s District 4, based in Kaneohe, made two arrests, issued 30 citations and confiscated 20 pounds of fireworks over the New Year’s holiday, a Department representative told the Board. That was the second-highest enforcement level among the department’s eight patrol districts island-wide. The district covers the Windward side from Waimanalo to Kawela Bay. The information was reported in response to requests from residents at our January meeting.
Earthjustice, an environmental law organization, asked the Board to adopt a resolution against the proposed merger of NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Company. An Earthjustice attorney told the Board that the merger would increase costs for consumers, erode local control and transparency and eliminate local jobs. The attorney recommended cooperative or municipal ownership as better alternatives. The Board took no action on the request.
Hawaii State Teachers Association presented priorities that is has developed for improving public education on the islands. The recommendations include limits on student testing, increases in vocational options, reforms in teacher pay, decreases in class size, and cooling for classrooms. An HSTA representative said she would like to return to the Board’s March 17 meeting to seek a resolution supporting the priorities.