It’s a three-day holiday weekend and that means parking is restricted in Lanikai neighborhoods.
The reason for the restrictions is public safety. Traffic is known to get heavily congested in the area on holiday weekends, creating a safety concern for first-responders. The restrictions have been in place for a while so we wanted to know, are they working?
Residents said they’ve seen a noticeable difference in traffic on holiday weekends since the restrictions started. Visitors to Lanikai, however, said more should be done to alert them of the restrictions.
We spotted only a few cars parked along roads in Lanikai Saturday afternoon. Most of them had parking tickets on their windshields.
“Parking enforcement in Lanikai has been working,” City Councilman Ikaika Anderson said. “The goal is to reduce the amount of vehicles that come into the Lanikai community and the parking enforcement has done just that.”
Parking enforcement on holiday weekends has been in effect for at least a year. However, we saw several people who still were not aware there was a ban.
“I’m frustrated that I can’t park here,” Erik Jul said. “I’m going to have to figure out where I’m going to park.”
Others knew of the ban but thought they had parked in a safe zone.
“We were looking all around to see if there was no parking right here and we didn’t see anything,” Doreen Wales said.
Residents tell KHON cars would often wait in traffic for up to two hours on holiday weekends in the past. Since the enforcement began, there’s been a huge difference in traffic but it impacts them, too.
“It’s great for the residents of the community, but there are also some minor sacrifices we have to make. We can’t park here either,” Pete Binney said.
KHON asked Anderson if the city council would consider giving residents permits to park on holiday weekends.
“Just because you own a home in Lanikai does not give you any additional special rights to park on the unimproved sidewalks that non-homeowners and non-Lanikai residents use,” he said. “If you do this for one community, then certainly we’re going to see other communities make the same request.”
There is, however, a long term fix in the works: installing a roundabout near Kalapawai, an intersection that’s blamed for many of the traffic backups.
“From what the traffic engineers tell us — the data they have and the studies they’ve done — that a roundabout will result in a constant flow of traffic into and out of the Lanikai and Kailua beach community,” Anderson said.
Parking restrictions remain in effect through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors to Lanikai beach and/or the Lanikai Pillboxes Trail are encouraged to get dropped off, bike, or take TheBus Route 70 Lanikai shuttle.