Last November, I introduced Bill 84 (2015) to provide greater public review of Complete Streets proposals for bikeways through the annual budgeting process. Partly as a result of the shared Complete Streetsresponsibilities among four city agencies (Department of Transportation Services, Department of Design and Construction, Department of Planning and Permitting, and Department of Facility Maintenance), it is not easy to keep track of projects proposed for major urban Honolulu roadways like King Street, South Street, McCully Street and other heavily-traveled roadways during morning and afternoon rush-hour traffic. During the past two months, my staff and I have been engaged in lengthy discussions on the best ways to improve the timeliness of Complete Streets proposals and provide adequate opportunities for neighborhood feedback/review.One example of a proposal that has provoked considerable discussion among residents and business owners in Kakaako is the proposed Bike Lane on South Street. Concerns about the initial proposal were raised – e.g., few bicyclists now traverse South Street, potential traffic congestion, and removal of already limited on-street parking. Recently, Department of Transportation Services Director Formby pointed out that the proposed South Street and Halekauwila Street bike lanes are not in final form:
- Is the February 2016 revised South Street Bike Lane design considered final by City agencies? Has the Department of Transportation Services given any consideration to designating another roadway for protected bike lanes (e.g., Punchbowl Street, which is a one-way street from King Street to Ala Moana Boulevard)?
Response: No, the February 2016 revised South Street Bike Lane is still in the planning phase and has not progressed to formal design. DTS has considered other alternative roadways, including but not limited to Punchbowl Street, and is still actively considering other streets and connections to King Street as part of the planning process.
- Where can interested parties obtain a copy of the Halekauwila Street Protected Bike Lane Plan diagrams and checklist? If the Halekauwila Street plan is being developed by Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), is DPP required to provide opportunities for public review/feedback before finalizing the plan?
Response: The Halekauwila Street Protected Bike Lane concept is still in discussion between HART and DTS. No decision has been made whether to advance the concept to the planning stage. If and when HART and DTS decide to consider the project, the concept would be taken through a context-sensitive public planning process. There are no funds currently budgeted for this project.
I welcome your thoughts and recommendations regarding the best ways to promote public review/comment on Complete Streets initiatives, and plans affecting Ala Moana and Kakaako!