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The Ala Moana area is in for a shake-up and it’s not just the Ewa wing expansion of the state’s largest shopping mall.
KHON2 found out Ala Moana’s surrounding streets are also in for an overhaul.
The signs say it all on Waimanu Street: “One Way” and “Do Not Enter.” But the city and General Growth Properties are considering switching things up.
“With the redevelopment of Sears and the addition of 1,000 parking stalls we wanted to reasses traffic flow and capacity,” Transportation Services Director Mike Formby said.
Instead of one-way traffic between Pensacola and Piikoi Streets, Waimanu Street could become a two-way street.
“It might be easier for motorists, but I don’t think it will ease the traffic,” driver Duane Fukumoto said.
The city says one-way streets help when there’s a high capacity of cars, but two-way streets help circulate traffic.
“Some people are afraid of change, but change can be good,” said Kalei Scoggins with Karissma by Best Bridal Hawaii. “With a two-way, it will be more access to the building, which will help out a lot.”
“We look at the big picture and this change might be a change to benefit the big picture,” Formby said.
The city also has to take into account the changes coming to Kona Street, just one block mauka. That’s where the elevated Honolulu rail route will run with a straight shot into Ala Moana Center.
The project will require widening both sides of Kona Street between Pensacola and Piikoi Streets, which could impact street parking.
“Parking now is limited as it is,” said Jamie Asuncion with Butigroove.
Butigroove isn’t a fan of that idea, with parking already at a premium.
“There’s metered parking, but in terms for parking for our store and other stores, there’s not much to begin with,” Asuncion said.
“So we look at parking on potentially every street we will change,” Formby said.
The city is still looking at all its options and any changes need to get public input.
If they get the green light, two-way traffic could be a reality in about two years.