Things are getting rough in Kalihi as private road problems grow.
A number of owners can't pay for repairs, and the city won't take over the streets -- until things are smoothed over.
The back of Kalihi Valley may be off the beaten path for many, but the path just to get there has been taking a beating.
"They should fix the street. They should fix it," said Kalihi Valley resident Ruben Arelliano.
It is not a question of "if" the road should be rebuilt, but "who" should pay for it.
"Some part of the road is private and the people who live there have to give the okay to fix it," said Arelliano.
"A lot of the roads in Kalihi Valley are private roads, and they're passed on down from generation to generation," stated Chris Wong, the Kalihi Neighborhood Board Chair.
Now some of the streets need repairs, but the residents responsible can't afford to fix the problems.
These road woes have been heard more often at Kahili Neighborhood Board meetings.
"Residents think the city or state is going to take care of the problem roads, but when they call to find out if the pothole is going to be fixed and they are told, 'It's a private issue. It's your road', then they think, 'What am I going to do?'"
A small road off Papali Place is a perfect example of the growing problem.
"You have to drive about 2 mph or your alignment is going to be affected by these huge potholes," said Kalihi Valley resident Teresa McCreary.
The cost to repair the small private road is estimated at a minimum of $20,000. That amount is too much for the few residents who use the lane or its elderly owner.
"No one will take responsibility, so far, for fixing it," stated McCreary.
The city could take control of the troubled private roads, but won't -- until those streets are brought up to city standards.
So some Kalihi residents are stuck in a rut, and worry that the wrecked roads will only get worse.
"Walking on this street is also treacherous, especially at night when its dark. These holes in the road are incredibly dangerous," added McCreary.
According to the director for the Dept. Of Planning and Permitting, the city doesn't want to take over substandard private streets because the problem is widespread around Oahu that it would end up costing millions in improvements.
If conditions are so bad on the streets that important services or emergency responders can't get through, the city may be forced to do something about the ruined roads.