Friday, January 27, 2017

‘Safety First’ Ordinance For Funding Sidewalks Discussed At Neighborhood Board Meeting

Should there be a “safety first” ordinance for funding sidewalks on our island? That’s the question Kaneohe Neighborhood Board member Mahealani Cypher asked at our January meeting.

Speakers at the meeting said current ordinances treat sidewalks as property improvements that should be approved by a majority of the affected property owners and partially funded by all of them. That can make funding construction difficult even where there is a clear safety risk to residents who walk or use wheelchairs.

Mahealani Cypher
Ms. Cypher said that the walkway along Waikalua Road hasn’t been improved since she used it to get to school as a child 40 years ago. She said that the safety of residents is clearly affected by the condition of the walkway and that the city needs a better way to make it safe.

The issue came up when residents on Waikalua Road expressed concern about the poor condition of the street and the paved walkway next to it. The street is riddled with potholes and the walkway is crumbling and narrow.

The street had been scheduled for resurfacing in November, but the work has not begun. A representative of the Mayor’s Office, Lori Kahikina, told the meeting that she will look into the plans for repaving but that there are no plans for sidewalk improvements.

Ms. Kahikina, the city’s Director of Environmental Services, said that the city ordinance will need to change before the city can fund sidewalks for safety reasons. Francisco Figueiredo, a representative of City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, noted that adding sidewalks can take away parking spaces, which are important for many residents.

Neighborhood Board Chairman Mo Radke encouraged residents to fill out a complaint form, which he would forward to the city for investigation.

For more information: Click here and scroll to Section 18 to review the city sidewalk ordinance. Click here to explore the city’s road repaving map and project list.

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