Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: With the expansion of the Maui County bus services, what is the protocol for choosing where to place bus stops in the community? What criteria does the County use when selecting where to place them within residential communities, and do the residents have a choice as to where the bus stops are placed? I would not want a bus stop placed directly in front of my house, as I feel that my family’s and my property’s safety is compromised. I would not feel comfortable having people hanging out in front of my house all day long, sitting on my wall, looking into my garage and windows, etc. waiting for a bus, while we are at work. What are my rights as a homeowner? Perhaps a better solution is to have a County of Maui service utilize a County facility, so that residential neighborhoods are not impacted. Thank you.
A: First, I’d like to reassure you that our County Transportation Department works with local residents when concerns are voiced. Second, it’s important for residents to understand that when they live in areas located near County property or adjacent to County roadways, public amenities may one day need to be located adjacent to their property. This applies to any County property as well as other departments (i.e. Public Works, Water, Parks, etc.) in terms of placing County amenities near adjacent landowners. With that said, the process for site selection of bus shelters is based on ridership and the actual stops are based on rider requests or private developer negotiations as to placement. If a person lives on a County street, a portion of their frontage is dedicated as a County Right of Way to accommodate infrastructure such as sidewalks, utilities and other amenities, which may include bus stops if demands are placed on the County to provide such services to the area. As long as the legal process is followed while locating public amenities, the dedicated right of way belongs to the public and not to the private land owner. Lastly, another consideration for placement of stops, besides rider demand, is whether or not the stop is near a crosswalk or signal controlled area. In areas with a loop route it is possible to place a stop on only one side of the street, but in most areas stops are located across from one another to allow people to board and disembark in the same area.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: I know Oahu has a bulky item pickup day. Does Maui have a similar service, like for couches and other big stuff?
A: Maui County does not have bulky item pickup for furniture. However, if your furniture is still usable, you can take it to the Habitat ReStore in Wailuku off Lower Main. Or, you may take your items to the Central Maui Landfill prior to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday. The County will, however, pick up appliances. If you are Upcountry, please call 572-3958 to schedule an approximate pickup date. For the Central area and West side, please call 270-7452.
Q: What are the different programs offered to help teach children how to swim? Are the County programs year-round or only during the summer, and what exactly are they?
A: Our Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Aquatics Division, offers free “Learn to Swim” (LTS) programs at various County facilities for ages infant to adult. Some programs are held only in the summer, and others are held at various times during the year, although colder weather often precludes classes during the winter months. There is currently a toddler LTS class being held at the Kihei Aquatic Center on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. for a total of six sessions. LTS levels II and III will start soon at Kokua Pool in Kahului, at 275 Uhu Street. Classes are limited to 10 participants per session, and will be held October 3-November 14. For children enrolled in LTS levels I and II, a parent or caregiver is required to attend the sessions in the water with the child. A range of basic skills are covered, from becoming comfortable in the water, swimming underwater and blowing bubbles to learning basic strokes, lifting the head out of the water, and refinement of swim strokes. For more details on registration and class days/times, contact Fran Yamamoto at 270-6138 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or call or stop by the Kokua Pool, 270-6155. The department’s 2016 calendar will be out soon; visit the website for more info, www.mauicounty.gov/Aquatics. To view a photo of the toddler LTS class in action, visit www.mauicounty.gov/Mayor and click on “Mayor’s Update.”
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.