A new report from the City and County of Honolulu looks into the city’s parking crunch.
While the city controls nearly 10,000 parking stalls with user fees, the study notes what most of us already know: parking is a scarce and coveted commodity.
Throw in a low hourly turnover of spaces and you’ve got:
- Cruising, or driving in circles looking for an empty spot, which increases traffic congestion, and
- Conflicts when spillover parking by commuters who work or live nearby take up spaces in a neighborhood.
To clear up conflicts, earlier this year, the city rolled out its parking permit program in Kalihi Valley. Those who live in the area get a set amount of parking passes for themselves and their guests. Any cars parked without a permit could be towed.
It worked. The city says the new system kept 30 percent of on-street parking open and available.
But what about business areas, like Waikiki and downtown Honolulu?
According to the report, a quick survey of Waikiki found 100-percent of on-street metered parking spaces occupied.
That leads us to what’s call the 85-percent rule. Traffic engineers generally recommend that one in seven on-street parking spaces be vacant at all times, serving as a benchmark of acceptable parking availability.
So how can we free up space?
The city’s got part one done, which is raising prices. The report says people are willing to pay more as long as on-street parking is available.
Other options on the to-do list:
- Extend metered parking hours, for example, offering metered hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., instead of 6 p.m.
- Install more smart meters, which give drivers more options to pay and help keep tabs on which cars have run out of time.
Fees to run the meters are roughly $10,000 a month, but the city says smart meters have helped raise revenue by 25 percent.
Department of Transportation Services
Surface Parking Lots
|Palace Square Post Office||32||Metered||$1.50/hr||1 hour|
|Kaimuki Municipal Parking Lot #1||270||Operator||Varies||—|
|Kaimuki Municipal Parking Lot #2||106||Metered||$.75/hr||2 hours|
|Kailua Elderly Parking Garage||140||Metered||$.75/hr||5 hours|
|Kailua Municipal Parking Lot||140||Metered||$.75/hr||5 hours|
|Kuhio Kaiolu Parking Lot||65||Metered||$1.50/hr||5 hours|
|Wahiawa Parking Lot||17||Marked||Free||1 hour|
|Salt Lake Parking Lot||152||Metered||$.10-.50/hr||2 hours|
Total: 922 stalls
Off-Street Parking Garages
|Chinatown Gateway Garage||275||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
|Harbor Court Garage (Queen Street)||458||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
|Harbor Village Garage (River/Nimitz)||72||$1.50/hour||24 hours|
|Hale Pauahl Garage (Beretania St)||197||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
|Kekaulike Courtyards Garage||52||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
|Kukui Plaza Garage||434||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
|Marin Tower Garage (Smith Street)||413||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
|Smith Beretania Garage (Beretania)||118||$1.50/half-hr||6 a.m.-midnight|
Total: 2,019 stalls