Kaua'i protestors take matters into their own hands blocking visitor traffic through Kuhio Highway
Dozens of protestors prevented visitor traffic from accessing the re-opened stretch of Kuhio Highway accessing popular sites on Kaua'is north shore.
Before visitors could reach the entry point to some of Kauai's most popular sites on the north shore Tuesday morning, residents beat them to it turning tourists around.
"I would say maybe half a dozen or something like that," said Wainiha resident, Elsa Flores Almaraz.
A crowd of nearly 30 concerned protesters planted themselves between Waioli bridge blocking on-coming visitor traffic.
"It's kinda like standing in a -- how shall I say it -- in a mediator position. Most of them were elders -- kupuna."
Since Kuhio Highway re-opened Monday Ka'imi Hermosua, a protester who lives in Wainiha, said there have been a string of problems and they were there to send a message.
"Had thousands of people down there, and we're not ready to take on the traffic," said Hermosua.
"This is just a big concern of our residents and people who love the area. This is an important outcry for us to really take a look at resource management."
Elsa Flores Almaraz also lives in Wainiha she said aside from the flood of visitors that filled their once- tourist free community, sandy beaches were left littered.
"It's like swarms of ants down here and it's very disconcerting," said Almaraz.
"There was so much trash that was left, because there were no trash cans that were set up, because again the infrastructure was not ready."
Almaraz also cited safety matters with unfinished road work at the core of concerns.
"It was a bad idea to open this road before that bridge work was complete," said Almaraz. "There's still a lot of construction going on... Drivers are speeding, they're not paying attention."
Kaua'i law enforcement showed-up on scene later in the morning, eventually letting all drivers pass through.
"It's not that we did not wanna open the road to visitors, but we wanted it to open when everything was in place and when it was safe," said Almaraz.
Almaraz said the group plans to continue informing the visiting public on protocol and safety for their community.