Mayor Caldwell outlines plans for buses, roads, & parks

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivers his State of the City address.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivers his State of the City address.

It’s being called an ambitious agenda. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivered his first State of the City address Wednesday morning.

The Mission Memorial Auditorium was filled with city employees and well wishers. After recognizing members of his cabinet, the mayor outlined five key things he wants to accomplish. He conceded many public parks have fallen into disrepair.

“I have proposed $11.8 million to repair and improve public facilities at our parks, with special attention to restrooms, aging playground and lighting equipment and run-down recreational facilities,” Mayor Caldwell said.

The mayor also called for three and a half million dollars to enhance the City’s bus fleet and restore routes.

“So many people rely on the bus to get to and from work and school. They rely on the bus to take care of their daily needs, to get to their doctor appointments and to buy food. They rely on the bus to come when it’s supposed to come,” Mayor Caldwell said.

The mayor called for $150 million to be spent over the next year on road repair. He said the City’s sewer system needs upgrading as well.

And the mayor is still a strong supporter of rail.

“Rail is the largest public works project in the history of Honolulu. I remain confident that rail is needed to improve traffic along our urban corridor from Kapolei to Ala Moana. From there, we will look at creating feeder systems to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and other locations,” Mayor Caldwell said.

Those are the mayor’s five priorities, but he also said the problem of homeless must be addressed quickly.

City Council chair Ernie Martin said he thought the address was a good one.

“In terms of working together, I’m very optimistic. With regards to completing his priorities, I think that’s where there will be some discussions as to how we’re going to get there at the end of the day,” Martin said.

That means where’s the money coming from. The mayor also acknowledged there will have to be a partnership with the state on some items.

“The opportunities are there and I think that people are going to be well pleased, especially over the next year as some of these projects unfold,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said.

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