City’s sidewalk nuisance law working at clearing clutter

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The city’s new sidewalk laws were put to the test these past two months, and so far so good.

“We’ve cleaned this place up two to three items now, and they’re gone,” McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board Chair Ron Lockwood said.

A major focus area where items stored on sidewalks and in parks have been confiscated on the spot.

“Where we are standing now, where 15 to 20 people used to live, and all that stuff is moved. It’s wonderful,” Lockwood said.

City crews have hit up 50 locations island wide to enforce the new rules, spanning from Kakaako to Hawaii Kai.

“I think it’s making an impact for the general public, especially in areas where they are heavily traveled,” Department of Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura said.

At many of these locations, violators picked up some of their belongings and left, leaving other items behind.

How much stuff? Since July, the city has collected a little over four large shipping containers full of trash.  That’s over 22 tons or 44,000 pounds.

The city has also collected 54 shopping carts and returned a majority of them back to store owners.

“Those items put on the sidewalk shouldn’t have been there in the first place. This should have happened a long time ago before they accumulated as much as they did,” Institute For Human Services Executive Director Connie Mitchell said.

About 25 percent of people did ask to have their items stored instead of trashed.

The law states anyone wanting to get their stuff back must pay $200. But so far, no one has paid that.

“How many miles is that for a person who’s walking to go retrieve their items?” McCully resident Tim Brown said.

KHON2 was told the storage site is in Halawa. The items stay there for 30 days before it’s thrown out and taken to H-Power.

“We will continue to enforce where we need to enforce to ensure the pedestrians and anyone in general public have ability to walk sidewalk safely,” Sasamura said.

IHS says there have been more new people coming in asking for services in the past two months and bed space is available.

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