Once again, there’s confusion and frustration over parking in Lanikai.
It’s a three-day holiday weekend, so a parking ban is in place, but for the second time in two weeks, police are not issuing tickets.
Lanikai is known to get packed with beachgoers during holiday weekends, causing a big traffic jam because there is only one road in and out.
The ban is meant to free up space for emergency vehicles on the loop.
A similar incident happened during the New Year holiday weekend when police said they couldn’t ticket because there wasn’t an enforcement permit issued.
The city told us they didn’t get the enforcement permit in the hopes that visitors would police themselves.
This week, the city sent out a press release notifying the public about the parking ban, saying no signage is required for enforcement, but we’re told not enough signage is the reason why HPD can’t hand out tickets this time.
Two electronic billboards, one near Kailua Beach Park and the other near the entrance to Lanikai, warned people of the parking ban, but the white signs that are usually placed along the side of the roads weren’t there.
We saw rows of cars and, once again, no tickets on windshields.
KHON2 was in Lanikai for about two hours and the only ticket we saw issued was for a car parked in front of a fire hydrant.
“I thought it meant there’s no parking, so you just gotta drive around when you’re there to find parking,” Keisha Willis said.
“Yeah, it’s not clear,” said Stephanie Feher. “As far as I’m aware, I can park there. There’s nothing saying that I can’t.”
“It’s so frustrating and disappointing,” resident Leilani Ratay said. “We want to share and have people enjoy the beach, but we also want this to be a safe environment.”
KHON2 contacted the city for an answer, but we haven’t heard back, so we reached out to City Councilman Ikaika Anderson.
He told KHON2 he was informed this week by the city transportation department that the smaller signs would not be posted due to cost, but he was assured a parking ban would still be enforced.
So why isn’t HPD ticketing?
“Upon talking to the police department, it’s the department’s position that the revised ordinances of Honolulu require the sandwich boards to be placed 24 hours in advance of a no-parking prohibition such as that in Lanikai,” Anderson said.
He said there seems to be a lack of understanding between the transportation department and HPD. “Of course I’m frustrated, just like the community’s frustrated. I mean, we’re told everything has been worked out between the two agencies, and there’s still some miscommunication.”
Lanikai residents said more needs to be done.
“I think there’s no excuse for that kind of inefficiency,” Ratay said. “We’ve had this permit in place for over a year.”
“This is not occurring because the mayor and his administration don’t want to do it or because they’re looking for a way out,” Anderson said. “That is not what’s happening here and I would like to assure the community that the mayor has not abandoned us here.”
While we were in Lanikai, we did see an officer who approaching cars attempting to park and letting people know there was a ban during the holiday weekend. Those cars ended up parking somewhere else.
We’ll follow up with the city and HPD to figure out why there’s a misunderstanding and we’ll let you know what happens.