Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: There was a great deal of confusion when trash pickups were disrupted by both the storm and by the County holiday recently. How are we supposed to know when our trash will be picked up after a County holiday, and how are we supposed to know the days and dates of County holidays? Also, because I live in Maui Meadows and participate in the County’s pilot “3-Can Plan” program, several neighbors and I are confused about our missed greenwaste pickup. As a result of the missed pickup, my can (and lots of others) are still next to the driveway. A lot of folks put out both blue and green cans yesterday. Can you please help explain how the missed pickups will be handled, to help reduce the volumes of giant plastic containers along the roads and byways of Maui Meadows? Thanks!
A: Certainly. For residential refuse accounts on Maui, the makeup collection following a County holiday will depend on the type of collection route you are on. For your “3-Can Plan” route in Maui Meadows, any missed greenwaste and recyclable pickups due to a holiday will be made on the next regularly scheduled pickup day for that color cart. For routes that have only one trash pickup per week (manual routes and 3-Can Plan trash bins), the missed pickup will be made up on the next County workday. For automated accounts (brown trash cart) with two pickups per week, your trash will be picked up on the next regularly scheduled pickup day. A flyer with details and a calendar of County holidays will be mailed soon to all residential refuse customers on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i to help clear up any remaining confusion. The information will also be available online at www.mauicounty.gov/SolidWaste . While most people don’t make the connection, the closure of landfills on County holidays means that we cannot collect trash or greenwaste on those days because the trucks need somewhere to empty the waste and drop off compostable materials. (The County’s greenwaste processing contractor, EKO Composting, is located at the Central Maui Landfill and is also closed on holidays) It is unfortunate that the Solid Waste Division positions we requested were not funded during the recent Budget cycle for the coming year. However, we will continue to offer the best service we can with the staffing levels we were provided. Since our Community Budget meetings will be starting up soon in all areas of Maui County, I would encourage you to voice your comments on holiday landfill closures and no holiday trash pickups. Input from the public will be instrumental in informing the Council on the importance of these and many other funding decisions that are made.
Aloha Mr. Arakawa:
Q: I ride a motorcycle that weighs approximately 700 pounds with me aboard. I have noticed several times in various locations that this combined weight is insufficient to cause the signal to change in my favor. I am faced with a wait until another vehicle comes behind me or going through a red light when it is safe to do so. Why can’t the sensor be set so that the combined weight works in all locations? Mahalo.
A: You bring up an issue that is sometimes difficult to solve. Detectors looped in the roadway lanes at intersections detect metal, not weight, and since motorcycles have less metal than most cars and a smaller footprint for the sensors to detect, they may go unnoticed. We can adjust the sensitivity of the detector loops, but if they are set too high they can actually start detecting vehicles in the adjoining traffic lane. It is recommended that motorcycles ride directly over the detector loop (which generally can be seen in the asphalt as small cuts filled with an asphalt sealant), and not in the middle of the loop where it is more difficult to detect motorcycles. Also, stop the motorcycle at the stop bar and do not pull past the stop bar or into the crosswalk because the loop detector is in the pavement behind the stop bar. If the above recommendations do not work well at a specific intersection, please let our Department of Public Works (DPW) know and we can evaluate whether increasing the sensitivity would be effective. If it is a State-controlled intersection, DPW will let them know.
Q: Is it legal to jaywalk in Pā‘ia?
A: No. It is illegal to jaywalk if you are crossing Baldwin Avenue or Hana Highway between two traffic signals. According to the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, if there is a traffic control signal in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk. If crosswalks are not available, pedestrians may cross a roadway at any point; however, they shall yield the right of way to all vehicles. The fine for jaywalking is $100.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email:AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov , phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.