Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: Are there any plans for expansion of bike trails (not bike lanes) on Maui? One need exists between the airport bike trail and the Baldwin Beach bike trail, on the side of the Hana Highway. Another great location would be adjacent to Highway 30 on the West side between the train yard and the Maui Preparatory Academy, on the old abandoned pineapple haul roads. Riding in a bike lane alongside heavy traffic is dangerous as there are lots of trucks and distracted drivers. Thank you.
A: Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, we are actively planning for several bike path projects including the final segment of the Airport to Paia bike path, which is currently in the Environmental Assessment process. Final design and construction are expected to be completed in the next two years. It’s important to note that in general, bike paths are more difficult to implement due to the need for more land; however, some cyclists prefer them for the greater degree of separation from traffic they often provide. The State of Hawaii and the County of Maui follow the Bike Plan Hawaii, which was last updated in 2004. This plan, which was reviewed by the public, allows us to plan for bike improvements like the projects you mention. An update to the plan is needed soon, and I met recently with some bicycling advocates to address top concerns. The closure of the railroad in Lahaina certainly does present an opportunity for a rails-to-trails facility. Much of the railroad runs on private lands, as well as through some County and State-owned property. This is an excellent opportunity that an update to the Bike Plan can address, as well as the upcoming West Maui Community Plan. I anticipate an advisory group will be established soon that will advise my administration on next steps in the planning, design, construction and maintenance aspects of bike facilities. Another important aspect of the advisory group will be education – not only of bike rider, but also the drivers who need to share the road with bikes and make bike lanes safer to use.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I was recently mailed a copy of the Maui County Refuse Collection Holiday Schedule. My question pertains to certain items listed in the mailing as banned from refuse collection, namely dead animals and animal feces. If they are banned, what are we to do with them? I just reviewed the summer edition of Talking Trash and found alternatives for most of the banned items listed, but no mention of dead animals or animal feces. Just two weeks ago I found a dead rat in my driveway. If not trash, what was I supposed to do with it? Spoiled food including meat is not banned, so what is different about a bird, mouse or rat carcass? Just today I found a large deposit of animal feces next to my mail box. What should I do about that? Thank you for your answers and please also consider publishing the information in “Talking Trash” so everyone knows.
A: Thank you for asking. Yes, our Solid Waste Division staff will add some clarification to the next edition of “Talking Trash.” In general, small animal feces and waste (including dog, cat, small indoor pets, dead rats, kitty litter, dog poop, small caged pet litter, etc.) is fine to throw in the trash. You should seal the refuse in a bag to avoid odors and pests such as flies. Larger animals over 25 pounds (i.e. larger dogs, goats, pigs, deer, carcasses, animal remains, etc.) should not be thrown in a residential trash can, but rather taken to the Maui Humane Society (per their requirements and fees for private cremation) or to the landfill. For landfill disposal, residents must call ahead to make arrangements so that staff will be prepared for immediate disposal and covering to avoid health and safety concerns. To view the Maui Humane Society requirements, visit www.mauihumanesociety.org
Q: There is a large amount of graffiti that needs to be covered up just north of Kilohana Drive at Pi‘ilani Highway on the mauka side of the highway. There are large concrete blocks that cascade up the gulch—these are covered with graffiti. Does the County take care of covering this up? Or could a citizen do it with the approved paint color? I don’t like keiki having to see graffiti. It teaches them to accept mediocrity. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
A: I asked our Public Works department to identify the specific area you described, and it appears to be the concrete drainage channel that goes under Pi‘ilani Highway just north of the Kilohana intersection. Because Pi‘ilani Highway is a State roadway, the graffiti removal would also be taken care of by State highways crews, so I have forwarded the information to the Maui office of the State Department of Transportation, Highways Division, for handling.
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.