Two serious problems face North Shore residents and visitors, traffic congestion at Laniakea Beach and erosion of North Shore beaches, especially at rocky point.
Senator Clayton Hee will introduce two bills in an effort to solve those problems, and he has solid support in the community.
The city and county and Kamehameha schools own the land mauka of this stretch of highway in front of Laniakea Beach, a popular tourist and surfer attraction. The state placed concrete barriers here to prevent cars from parking – and pedestrians crossing the busy highway.
“Look, we don’t want these barriers. We just don’t want them. We’re losing a beautiful beach and if the governor can get behind this. And Senator Hee and with this park we could move this forward, we can just get everything done very, very quickly – I think within the year,” North shore resident Bill Quinlan said.
Quinlan and others propose moving this portion of the highway mauka and creating a parking area and wayside park on the makai side – something Senator Clayton Hee is proposing in the form a legislation.
“People no longer have to cross the highway. But it will be driven by the community and driven by the Department of Land and Natural Resources because the creation of the legislation would be a park, a wayside park,” Senator Clayton Hee said.
Senator Hee maintains the proposal would be of benefit to locals – who would not face traffic congestion at this spot – and to visitors alike.
“Our visitors bring in most of our income. And for us to shut them off from the ability to in one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii is unfortunate,” Quinlan said.
Senator Hee is also introducing legislation that would provide for long-term beach management, especially in light of severe erosion at Rocky Point over the past few weeks.
“Global warming, rising sea levels and the fact of the matter is we have been, for the last several years, working on shoreline setbacks – primarily driven by Sierra Club and environmental communities,” Senator Hee stated.
The legislation would call for a cooperative effort among DLNR, the UH School of Engineering and the Sea Grant College. The answer will not be simple.
“It’s very site-specific. So it’s hard to say what would work well everywhere. It really just depends on the geology and the situation where the erosion is occurring,” Dolan Eversole with Sea Grant College said.