Tight squeeze leads to more parking restrictions

The Bus

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It’s a problem that’s been going on for a while in Wahiawa Heights. The bus can’t make its way through because of parked cars in the way.

One solution didn’t work, so now the City says it has to take more drastic measures — including more parking restrictions and even police enforcement.

The City presented its plan to the Wahiawa Neighborhood Board Monday night.

The end of California Avenue in Wahiawa Heights isn’t packed with parked cars now, and the bus can get through without much trouble, but on the weekends, it’s a whole different story.

“Normally the busiest times are the weekends, and that’s when the hikers come. So when the hikers come and people not of this area, they just park any place,” Wahiawa Heights resident Cherlyn Reyes said.

If two cars are parked across of each other, the bus can’t fit in between or can’t make the turn onto Puninoni Street.

“Normally what they’ll do is they’ll beep their horn and wait so someone will come out and move their car,” Reyes said.

Since the hikers aren’t around, it’s usually the residents who end up having to move their own cars.

“I would say the most they’d have to wait for someone to move their car is five minutes,” Reyes said.

The City Department of Transportation Services has been working on a solution.

“We came out last year and agreed with the Neighborhood Board to allow the neighborhood to self police, but it’s been unpredictable,” DTS Transit Operations Planner Glenn Moir said.

The City presented its plan to the Neighborhood Board, detailing additional no parking zones and areas where additional no parking signs will be added.

“This is to prevent the bus being blocked and having to detour and any other vehicle fire truck or utility truck,” Moir said.

“We’ve had buses trapped and had to detour into other parts of the neighborhood and that’s not been popular,” Moir said.

Moir says Honolulu Police Department also plans to step up enforcement in the area to make sure cars aren’t parking where they shouldn’t be.

“But when we implement additional restrictions they will enforce that as well. The problem as I said is sporadic, can happen a lot unpredictably. Besides being a convenience thing it’s a safety issue as well,” Moir said.

As far as the timeline, the City says the new parking restrictions won’t go into effect overnight.

It’ll probably take at least several weeks to put up the signs, publish the information, and make the new curb markings.

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