Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Waikiki Business Improvement District Association announced Tuesday that 24-hour restroom service will be extended at Kuhio Beach Park next to the police substation on Kalakaua Avenue.
The restrooms have been open all day and night beginning in September as part of a pilot project using city funds and resources and staff from the Waikiki association.
The pilot project was scheduled to end Tuesday, but the extension was made possible by additional city and private funds.
The Mayor reported that more than 4,250 people used the restrooms during the time period of the pilot project, with the homeless making up a third of the users.
“We also found out that a lot of local folks use it when the bars close, and before they got back in their car, they need to use the lua, and we found also that a lot of visitors, of course, used it,” he said. “The heaviest use was between 10:30 and midnight, and in the morning, it would pick up.”
The Mayor said that $32,000 has been made available between the city and the Waikiki association to keep the restrooms open for the next six months, through June 2015.
“It’s a perfect example of win-win,” Waikiki Business Improvement District Association Chairman Paul Kosasa said. “Our local residents win and those that are homeless, they win, too.
“Public-private partnerships, often times, have challenges, and in this particular case, everybody rose to the occasion and made it successful.” Kosaka thanked the general public because there’s been no vandalism and no incidents.
Honolulu Police Major Leslie Mann said that “although we’ve had to respond to some calls to clear people out of the bathroom, it’s been very minimal effort on our part.”
Overnight, the restrooms are supposed to be used for emergencies only. A private security service has been used to monitor the restrooms when the park is closed between 10:30 p.m.-5 a.m., and city Parks and Recreation personnel have been cleaning the restroom during regularly scheduled hours between 6 a.m.-10 p.m.