Tour buses and vans crowd Kailua neighborhood

Residents to protest unintended effects of new city law

Published  9:06 AM HST Sep 07, 2012
KAILUA, Hawaii -

A new city law took effect banning tour buses from Kailua and Kalama beach parks.

Since then, the buses have inundated Kailua Beach Shopping Center, which many nearby residents say causes traffic jams and a safety hazard which has gotten exponentially worse.

"The latest incidents include buses stopping in the Kailua Beach Center and literally stopping on the roads and backing traffic up," said frustrated resident Fred Hemmings. "We want to maintain the residential neighborhood and not turn into Waikiki."

The residents say the tour buses and vans have increased traffic in a primary residential neighborhood. They say larger buses pull over on the side of the narrow road, causing drivers to go into oncoming traffic to get around them.  In addition, frustrated Kailua homeowners say letting off dozens of tourists on a busy road creates a dangerous situation.

"You have buses, children walking, bikers and cars. It occurs in this one spot right now and it is too dangerous." said State representative Cynthia Thielen. "People are working together to find a solution before we have a tragedy,"

Residents hope they, along with the city and the owners of the shopping center can come to a compromise soon about the buses. In the meantime, many residents will be staging a protest Saturday morning near the beach center to get their concerns heard.

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