Council considers dedicated group to oversee traffic, ease congestion in Waikiki

It’s a problem many people all across Oahu have dealt with – not enough parking.

It’s especially difficult for large vehicles like delivery trucks and trolleys in Waikiki and that can impact other drivers.

City leaders are proposing a plan to ease the headaches.

If these measures are passed, it would create the Waikiki Transportation Management Association – a special improvement district that would make the necessary changes to get traffic moving more smoothly in the area.

The proposals drafted by Councilman Trevor Ozawa would allow the WTMA to manage traffic operations and parking control.

According to the bill, improvements like construction of pedestrian bridges and under passes, connections between buildings, and changes to streets would be made to promote business.

“Since here is a tourist attraction, the traffic is crazy,” Sio Kelekolio said.

Kelekolio is no stranger to the pedestrian and vehicle congestion in Waikiki. He told KHON2 he makes deliveries for work in this area regularly.

“The customers we deliver to, they don’t really tell us where to park or where the loading zones are so we have to improvise. We try to find our own parking. Sometimes we end up having tickets,” he said.

It’s a similar story for other transportation companies who said there aren’t enough designated loading zones or street parking spaces.

In a letter to city council members, the Waikiki Improvement Association said the spots that do exist aren’t adequately managed forcing many of these commercial operators to park illegally and sometimes even illegal curb space is full.

We’re told oftentimes drivers circle around until something opens up.

“That takes a lot of gas, a lot of time so sometimes we get back to the warehouse really late,” Kelekolio said.

Well-known companies like Royal Star Hawaii and Waikiki Trolley support the measure, but the big question remains – who’s going to pay for it all?

According to the letter from Waikiki Improvement Association, “a core group of private transportation businesses has agreed to voluntarily fund the WTMA district in order to get it started.

The measure has moved to the zoning and housing committee. The committee is scheduled to discuss and take action at their next meeting on Thursday.

For more information, click here to see the bill.

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