Public outcry over proposed parking plan for Ala Moana Regional Park
HONOLULU - The crowd booed inside McCoy Pavilion Auditorium Monday night as the city presented its vision for the beach promenade at Ala Moana Regional Park.
Some people brought signs expressing their opposition toward moving beach side parking mauka from where it is now to make room for that wider promenade.
"I don't see how you can call yourself a mayor of the people, if you don't hear the people," said one woman, after the city's presentation.
Many people were upset when the city did not include a public comment
during the initial presentation.
"Tonight is about getting your input, it would have been easier not to have this meeting folks and just go do something," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
Instead, people with concerns on different topics were grouped in different areas of the auditorium to express their concerns.
"This whole process tonight is wrong, because what you've essentially done is divided us, you've divided us into these tiny little interest groups," said Diane Fujimura, as she approached Mayor Caldwell.
Many people approached Mayor Caldwell directly with their concerns about moving parking.
"I'm at the beach like pretty damn often, I never see kids getting run over," said Jupiter, upset as he talked to the mayor.
A child named Miya who attended the meeting with her family, also approached the mayor with a question of her own.
"If you really care about the kids, and the elderly and the people why are you moving the parking?" she asked.
Most people who approached Mayor Caldwell support other plans to improve the park, like upgrading facilities, but they believe makai parking needs to stay.
"I'd like to see the parking, stay where it is, have the people have inside parking, and I'd like to see it double in size," said Al.
The mayor emphasizes the master plan is not a done deal, and the public will have more chances to give input as the city begins starts the process of an environmental impact statement.
"This is an out of the box idea," said Caldwell, "but we're putting it out there to get input from folks like you and of course the comments and the responses will have an impact on what we do or do not do."
The city expects to finish a draft Environment Impact Statement (EIS) by the end of summer.
The proposed plans would add another 100 parking spots to Ala Moana Regional Park.