Friday, March 24, 2017

Research Reserve, Dog Park And Traffic Study Earn Support From Kaneohe Neighborhood Board

We approved resolutions supporting three Kaneohe-area projects during our March meeting. The projects focus on the environment of Kaneohe Bay, providing off-leash space for dogs and combatting speeding through a residential neighborhood. All three resolutions passed on 9-0 votes.
Here are highlights of the resolutions:

Kaneohe Bay Environment: This resolution, offered by Vice Chairman Bill Sager, supports the He’eia National Estuarine Research Reserve and state funding to match federal funding for the project. The new reserve will provide research and a mix of traditional and scientific practices to keep the 1,385 acre He’eia estuary healthy. The Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology is to manage the reserve.

The federal government has committed approximately $700,000 to the project, and the state needs to provide approximately $400,000. The resolution includes a provision that the manager of the reserve make twice-yearly reports to the Neighborhood Board. The provision was added at the request of Board Member Felipe San Nicolas, who wants assurances the project is meeting its goals.

Legislation to provide the state funding (Senate Bill 1178) passed the Senate on a 25-0 vote and is in the House.

Off-Leash Space For Dogs: Offered by Vice Chairman Sager, this resolution supports the work of the Windward Dog Park Hui to build a fenced enclosure where dog owners can let their pets roam. The facility would cover about an acre and would have separate areas for large and small dogs.

Janine Tully (left) and Emily Vergara presented the
case for an off-leash dog park on the Windward side
The Hui’s president, Janine Tully, and vice president, Emily Vergara, told us that 56 percent of Windward residents own dogs. They said area residents have been trying to open an off-lease park for 20 years. The Hui leaders said their group picked up the effort three years ago and has been working with legislators and city officials to move the project forward.

In response to a question from Board Secretary Jonathan Hanks, Ms. Tully said that cost of the project has not been determined. She said Hui members hope to secure donations and city funding, as a similar group in Hawaii Kai did in 2008.

Residential Speeding: Introduced by Board Member Deborah Collins, this resolution asks the city Department of Transportation to reconsider a request to install traffic calming measures on Pua Alowalo Street between Pua Inia and Makalani Streets.

The resolution says residents feel threatened by an unusually high volume of traffic on Pua Alowalo, tied to cars seeking a fast way to return to the Kamehameha Highway from the Windward City Shopping Center. The resolution also says speeding is a problem shortly after school lets out and in the evening.

The resolution notes that the Transportation Department studied the issue briefly a few months ago but recommended no action. The resolution asks that the department return for more in-depth study and that it consider traffic-calming measures that are “effective and self-enforcing.”

We welcome your comments, in person and online
Please join us for all of our meetings. If you are unable to attend, you may provide testimony online and contact Neighborhood Board members directly. Comments on this blog are welcomed. To add a comment, please click on the link below. Also, please like us on Facebook and comment there.

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