Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Why are our public restrooms and fountains in such an unhealthy state? I am especially disgusted by the sad state of affairs at the bathrooms at the County sub-station next to Iao Theater. I am thinking about starting a website, “mauibathrooms.com,” and having people post photos of our restrooms all over the island. Maybe we can shame them into being cleaned properly. For now I’m hoping something can be done internally.
A: Our Parks department has been working diligently to get all of our parks bathrooms renovated throughout Maui County. As you can imagine, this is no easy task with the reduced funding we were allotted by the budget the Council passed. The department must evaluate and prioritize restrooms based on use and state of disrepair, and must take into consideration bathrooms that have cesspools, which are even more costly to repair. What’s more, we need the public’s help to assist us with the never-ending vandalism to our restroom facilities, which takes away funding that could be used for renovations. Old Wailuku restroom is on the list for this fiscal year’s budget and Parks staff hope to start the renovation process soon.
Q: The new traffic signals at Ohukai and Piilani Highway sure look swell, but I really get tired of looking at the red while sitting on my scooter going up or down Ohukai through the intersection. The sensor doesn’t “see” motorcycles, bikes, scooters or even cars that have stopped too far behind them and we are sometimes waiting three or four cycles of the lights before my frustration levels kick in and I get off my scooter in dismay, wave my hands, do jumping jacks and run around like a chicken. I usually give up and run across to hit the pedestrian crossing button. This is much easier going up than down as when I have to get off my scooter going down Ohukai (from the Tesoro side of Piilani), I must cross the road to the south side to hit the button. Any chance the sensor could be changed so that we can trigger it from our two wheels? Thanks.
A: The Piilani Highway intersection at Ohukai is a State traffic signal, but I can tell you that the sensor detects metal, not a vehicle’s weight. You can purchase a specialized magnet online to help a scooter or motorcycle trigger the signal; however, before purchasing, consumers should carefully review the feedback from previous buyers as there is no guarantee that the magnet will work at all traffic signals. It’s also important to note that the sensor is strongest just behind the stop line, on either side. Detection is weakest in the middle, so don’t stop in the center of the lane and don’t go into the crosswalk. Pull up on either side behind the stop line, on top of a cut in the pavement if you see one.
Aloha Mr. Mayor,
Q: I go to La Perouse Bay weekly and noticed the worst potholes in the 17 years I have lived here. Some are large enough to cause severe damage to tires and front ends. Work crews fill the holes periodically, usually in one day. The time is right for another work day there.
A: This portion of Makena Road in the vicinity of La Perouse Bay is owned by the Department of Natural Land and Resources, State of Hawaii (DLNR). The County of Maui has entered into an intergovernmental agreement to maintain the road with DLNR. Our County Department of Public Works, Highways Division is aware of the poor conditions and has been patching the road, but a more substantial effort such as a pavement reconstruction project would need to be funded by the State.
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.