Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Aloha Mr. Mayor,
Q: I was wondering if the well-traveled roads of Haiku are scheduled for repaving anytime soon. Kaupakalua and Kokomo roads are to a point where it is unsafe to drive, the potholes, ruts, bumps and cracks are highly dangerous and are destroying cars of tax-paying residents. Kokomo has not had any major restoration for over 10 years while Hana Highway seems to have an annual repaving whether it needs it or not. Please let the citizens know when we can drive in peace again. Mahalo.
A: I do have an update since we last ran a Q&A about these rural collector roads: The first paving project is expected to commence in less than two months. Work on Kokomo Road, one of the bumpiest, is anticipated to begin in February 2015, with completion by September 2015; this phase runs from the intersection of Kokomo with Makawao Avenue and Kaupakalua Road to Mile Marker 3. The next phase, Kokomo Road and Makawao Avenue, is expected to start in November 2016 and run from Haiku Road to Mile Marker 3 on Kokomo Road, and from Kokomo Road to Piiholo Road on Makawao Avenue. Work on Kaupakalua Road has a tentative start date of mid-2017, and will run from Kokomo Road to West Kuiaha Road.
Q: If the County of Maui is adamant about everybody’s seatbelt use, why does the County allow passengers to ride in the open beds of trucks? Seeing people riding against the tailgate is outrageously dangerous. This is the absolute worst place to sit. Worst of all, most of the passengers I witness are underage.
A: I agree, riding in open beds of pickup trucks is extremely dangerous; however, Hawaii State law allows this practice in certain situations. Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) §291-14 states that no passenger can ride in the bed of a pickup truck unless (1) there is no seating available in the cab of the vehicle; (2) the side racks of the vehicle are securely attached and the tailboard or tailgate is securely closed; and (3) every passenger in the bed or load-carrying area of the vehicle is seated on the floor and does not attempt to “control unlashed cargo.” This law prohibits children aged 12 years and under from riding in the bed of a pickup truck, except in life-threatening emergencies or if the vehicle is being operated in a parade, caravan or authorized exhibition. Violations are subject to a fine of $72 each for passenger restrictions and $92 for violations for underage children.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: If the renovations of the restrooms at Honokowai Beach Park are completed, why aren’t the bathrooms open already?
A: For one simple but very important reason: the Parks department is still waiting for a back-ordered part for the lift pump, which takes the wastewater from the restrooms and transports it uphill to the sewer line. As we all know, liquids do not “flow” uphill, and this location requires wastewater to be pumped up from the bathrooms to work properly. Parks estimates it will take a few more weeks for the part to arrive, then the restrooms will be opened to the public.
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.