Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Why does Pukalani only have one County bus stop? We are a community of over 7,500 residents, some of whom have to walk approximately two miles to reach the nearest County bus stop. School buses and small MEO buses have no problem driving further into Pukalani. Our County bus should be able to do the same.
A: Our County Dept. of Transportation is currently working with a consultant to update the County of Maui Short Range Transit Plan, which includes looking at routes and our bus stops in the Pukalani area. Once the plan update is readied, which should be in December or earlier, regional meetings will be held to give the public a report of their findings as well as to seek comments on any proposed changes. Because the addition of new bus stops in the Pukalani area has been a rather controversial topic, with a portion of the community stating they don’t want any bus stops located near their homes, it is important to work together to find safe solutions that take into consideration the needs of bus riders, neighbors and motorists. The Department of Transportation has already added a pedestrian crossing light in Pukalani to make the area safer for the community and will be looking at other options during the update of the transit plan. Please contact the MDOT at 270-7511 if you have further questions.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I would really like to have a paved walkway along the perimeter of the park on Shaw Street in Lahaina. It would be nice to have a safe place for families to get exercise. Thank you for your consideration.
A: I believe the area you’re referring to is the former park land that the County has turned over to the Friends of Mokuula, the nonprofit organization committed to restoring the royal complex at Mokuula and working with governmental entities to revive the historic cultural sites of Mokuula Island and Mokuhinia Pond. This area, formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is no longer under County Parks’ jurisdiction. However, the park facilities mauka of the highway are designed to offer opportunities for exercise, including the Skate Park, Lahaina Aquatics Complex and numerous playing fields.
Q: I saw the electric signs warning folks of the nighttime work being done around the Piilani Highway-Ohukai Road intersection. Why on earth would there be nighttime work in a crowded residential area?
A: This is a project being conducted by the State of Hawaii Dept. of Transportation (HDOT), which is making these intersection improvements to add dedicated left-turn lanes from Ohukai Road onto Piilani Highway to help minimize traffic backups into neighboring residential streets. HDOT understands there’s no good time for roadwork in any crowded area, day or night. Trenching work throughout the intersection is required for drainage, electrical and traffic signal modifications and due to the high volume of traffic through the area, which includes a daily average of 33,700 vehicles on Piilani Highway, all trenching work is done overnight to minimize traffic impacts. That being said, the contractors do try to get as much of the noisiest work done before midnight and proceed with lighter work overnight. Night work also helps to reduce impacts to dozens of small businesses located in neighboring commercial complexes. HDOT sincerely appreciates the community’s patience with the night work schedule. The project is anticipated to be complete this August.
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.