Biki bike pushback at Kapiolani Park
The Kapiolani Park Preservation Society isn’t happy about plans to install Biki bike racks in several places in the Waikiki park.
HONOLULU - You can see them as you drive by areas in Chinatown. One hundred Biki bike stations in various stages of installation. All this week, crews have been on a tight schedule to get these stands and kiosks in place.
They are all along the Ala Wai already, and, yes, they are taking up lots of parking spaces. But, it's in Kapiolani Park where new push back is surfacing.
The park operates under special trust rules and a watchdog group isn't happy that the city is setting aside exclusive use of the park at the expense of park users.
"You can't park your bike there. Nobody else can use it. They are taking away parking spaces for the public. It's all being done on trust land it’s a non-profit umbrella for a for profit company that owns the bikes and racks, and so on," said Kapiolani Park Preservation Society’s Alethea Rebman.
Rebman said she offered to work with Biki Bikes in order to find other parcels not within the park boundary, but they have declined to take her up on the offer.
The no parking signs warn of what’s to come along Kalakaua and Paki Avenue.
"We are disappointed they are proceeding with it, when they have good alternatives,” said Rebman.
The city said it’s attorneys don't see it as a problem. But Rebman is appealing to the state attorney general's office, which has trust oversight. Rebman hopes something can be worked out to avoid a legal challenge.
"There is no doubt they are fun ideas they are green ideas, but that is not what the park is for, and that is not what the trust is for," said Rebman.
Most tourists we talked to said they would be willing to rent the bikes. Only a handful said no.
"We have them in Louisville and use them a lot when you want to get from one place to another. They come in handy, said Aaron Allen.
He said back home mainly residents use them, but he would enjoy riding them while here on vacation.
"I would use it and I think it would be a lot of fun and a good way to get around instead of walking," said Lori Culy.
Unlike Hawaii, the couple says Kansas has lots of bike trails. They see the rental prices of $3.50 for a half hour as reasonable.
“That's not bad. I don't think it’s bad,” said John Dodge. So, you would give it a go? “Oh yeah, I would."
Local resident David Hironaka already owns a bike and doubts he would use a Biki Bike. He does worries about safety of the riders. He’s had a few close calls on the road and had his bikes stolen 8 times.
The Kapahulu resident does have issues with the bike stations being in the park.
"I don’t like it. I don’t like at all. Leave it alone already. Enough already for the Aina. Too much cars, too much people," said Hiranaka.
Motorists should prepare to see hundreds of bikes in the stands early next week. The big test will be sharing the road.
The city says some of the Bikeshare stations are in non-marked parking stalls. It estimates about 60 parking stall will be displaced by Bikeshare and 22 of the 60 stalls are metered.