Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mayor's Livable Communities Project

Honolulu Age Friendly Cities Action Plan

Go to: and download Making Honolulu Age-Friendly – An Action Plan. (Please note that it may take several minutes for the file to download to your computer – it is a large file).
We encourage you to read the plan and try to submit written comments by Friday, May 1, 2015. Please submit written comments only, either via mail or email:
1.     Mail to:
University of Hawai`i
Center on Aging
1960 East West Road, BioMed T705B
Honolulu, HI 96822 
2.     Email to:
If you have any questions or need special accommodations, please contact the UH Center on Aging (consultants for this initiative) at 956-5001. We look forward to hearing from you!

Use the following testimony for ideas or just edit to reflect you point of view:

As a member of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board, my comments focus on the Kane’ohe community and to a lesser extent on Ko'olaupoko as a whole.

This plan is quite comprehensive and is obviously the work of the lot of very knowledgeable people in our community. I hope it doesn't end up like so many other plans is a book on the bookshelf.

One of the major deficiencies I see is the lack of a fiscal plan. I recognized that as a conceptual plan this document stops at identifying implementation strategies. Planning how to accomplish those strategies will require detailed planning for each one of them.

Kaneohe has been the subject of much planning, but none of those plans have been implemented. Currently there are six major plans which should be integrated.

  1. The livability plan
  2. the blue zone project
  3. the Koolaupoko sustainable communities plan
  4. the Kaneohe city plan
  5. the Koolaupoko watershed management plan
  6. the Kaneohe resilient communities plan featuring HHARP/CERT

Because the Blue Zone Project and the Livable Communities Program are both being implemented at the same time and have similar goals, i hope their respective leadership groups can come together to avoid confusion and competition.

Past planning has identified many opportunities to make Kaneohe a more livable community.


inadequate sidewalks: the present method of funding sidewalk improvements requires adjacent property owners pay for the cost of the sidewalks. This is reasonable where the sidewalk benefits the adjacent property owner, but it is unfair and impractical for property owners to have to pay for sidewalk improvements that benefit our community as a whole. Sidewalks in such areas should be financed by CIP appropriations.

Most of our aging population at some point will be no longer able to drive. They need a way to be able to get around in our community. We need some kind of jitney service that will provide local transportation. Handy van service needs to be improved so the wait time for a vehicle is more reasonable. Most of our aging population does not meet the definition of handicapped as it applies to the handy van so the van is not a solution for the majority of our population who cannot drive.

Bus service throughout Windward Oahu needs to be improved.

Complete streets need to be implemented on Kaneohe Bay Drive from Castle High School to Mikiola Drive and out the old Kaneohe Bay drive to Aikahi. Even more important is complete street treatment to Kamehameha Highway from the Windward City Shopping Center to the Windward Mall. In this section of Kamehameha highway, we need to implement micro parks that will encourage residents to walk, shop and socialize.

We need to get serious about safe routes to schools, and we need to recognize that Pahia St crosswalk on Kamehameha Hwy is the most dangerous crossing in Windward Oahu. Safe shoulders  for non-vehicular traffic on Kamehameha Hwy should be extended all the way to Kualoa Ranch and beyond.

Sustainable Agriculture:

Ko’olaupoko has some of the most productive agricultural land on Oahu. We have more Loi than any other part of the island. The health and productivity of Kaneohe Bay depends on freshwater flowing into the bay. The serious failing of the Koolaupoko Sustainable Watershed Plan was a failure to look at meteorological predictions that forecast long periods of extreme drought punctuated by intense storms. Our local communities and farmers must have first priority in water distribution.

Sustainable agriculture growing local food provides us a buffer when strikes or storms disrupt our supply lines. Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier and buying them supports our local farmers. obstacles preventing farmers from selling to local government organizations should be removed and farmers co-op's that can centralize purchasing will encourage local groceries and restaurants to feature local produce.


Multigenerational housing is the norm. while no one wants to see high-rises and connie only we have a choice of urbanizing our farmland were building up. micro housing is more suitable for seniors and we should look for more ways to implement micro housing without impacting agricultural and conservation lands.

Aging in place:

intergenerational networking is important both from the standpoint of young people and the elderly. Caring for the elderly in their homes is far cheaper than institutionalizing them. We should be looking at ways to improve and pay for in-home care.

Employment in volunteer opportunities:

One of the major factors contributing to a long and productive life is a life lived with purpose. the transition to retirement is one of the most dangerous periods in a person's life. Because our identity is so much wrapped up in our work, people retiring experience a serious cultural shock. They lose their identity and the reason they get up in the morning. Unless they find a new purpose in life tthey are at high risk.

Volunteering contributes to people's well-being, Volunteers are known to lead to a longer, healthier and more productive life. New retirees need support in making the retirement transition.

The internet provides us all an unparalleled opportunity to create a lucrative business. Rather than looking for a job, retirees should be encouraged to develop a business that provides an outlet for their interests and expertise. As we grow older, our ability to work an eight hour shift diminishes. A business is not for everyone, so we should look for creative ways our jobs can be tailored to our elderly. Part-time, shorter shifts and telecommuting are all options our local businesses could develop.

A community without jobs is a dying community. We should look for ways that our local schools of higher education can both generate new business in our community and retrain our citizens to fill local jobs.

In conclusion, there are many good ideas put forth in this plan. i hope it can be integrated into our communities so that it can be sustained through changes in administrations.  I am particularly concerned that throughout this planning document our police are being depended on to patrol parks and address other problems which are social issues.  The most important mission of our police is to protect our communities from major crimes and violence.  We must make sure mission creep does not interfere with HPDs ability to preform it’s major mission.

Bill Sager

No comments: