Street parking concerns addressed in car-sharing bill

Cars traveling on Ala Moana Boulevard.

Traffic and limited parking spaces for vehicles. It’s a common problem for many residents in Honolulu. Car-sharing programs could be part of the solution, which allows people to rent cars then return them to a designated spot.

“[Bill 10] really promotes car-sharing, which is going to get more cars off the road. And at the same time, it allows those people that are living in high-density areas to be able to still have an option to park on street when they need to,” said Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa.

But finding street parking isn’t always easy. That’s why Councilman Ozawa wants to make sure these car-sharing programs don’t take away parking spots from residents.

“There are going to be no reserved on-street parking stalls for car-sharing companies in Bill 10,” said Councilman Ozawa.

So where will these car-sharing vehicles park?

“Ideally, it would be a private business renting from another private business and not impacting our citizens’ right to park on the street,” said Councilman Ozawa.

Car-sharing companies can also request parking at other city facilities.

“We’ve also, in Bill 10, encouraged the car-sharing companies to go ahead and apply through a procurement process in achieving public off-street parking. We’ve mentioned public off-street parking. So what we’re really targeting there are rail station parking lots, bus depot parking lots, park and rides possibly,” said Councilman Ozawa. “And these are the types of places that the city would like to see more people using car-sharing because it really drives people to use multi-modal transportation. They can be going to use our bus, our Handi-Vans, our rail, or any other mode of transportation. Perhaps carpooling or van-pooling. So it’s really encouraging them to use our city resources.”

Drivers we spoke to say they’re open to car-sharing. In fact, one woman said she’s seen it work in other cities on the mainland.

“So it’s great for areas that where the freeways are super congested. And it just diminishes the one-person car that we’ve had going on for the past 20 years. So I think it diminishes traffic immensely if people use it,” said Arlette Cummings, who is visiting Orange County, Calif.

“I think right now, traffic is really bad and I make him drive all the time because I don’t want to be under stress from this driving in traffic and finding parking and things like that. In that respect, it might help,” said Cherise Madriaga, a Honolulu resident.

For more information on Bill 10, click here.

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