County Planning Commission again examined the Ohukai/P Hwy traffic project

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UPDATE  9/1/15  Once again, this is back on agenda for 9/8/15, & once again KCA plans to be there to testify! Stay tuned…..

8/IMG_137411/15  UPDATE  HDOT do not show up…Commission acts to take all possible actions to insure pedestrian safety at busy intersection.

Once again we testified for action to have this new (completed?) intersection renovation made safe for pedestrians and bicyclists, and the Commission heard and agrees. They have called for HDOT response once again  at Sep 8 meeting, since HDOT Deputy Director did not appear this morning as planned. After public testimony was heard, the Commissioner had a brief discussion, before voting to go into executive session, necessitating clearing the room, & halt taping by Akaku. We remained to hear what public action and decisions. While a proposed motion to take strong legal action ( a contested case hearing)  was defeated by a single vote, this contested case action consideration by the Commission was to be specifically mentioned in a letter to HDOT, calling for the HDOT Director or Deputy appear on 9/8/15 at 9:00 AM. KCA plans to be there.

8/4/15 UPDATE  The matter of the HDOT’s “Pi’ilani Hwy Traffic Operations Improvements at Ohukai Rd ”  is back before the County Planning Commission (PC) next Tuesday (8/11/15) at 9:00 AM, this time with a supposed high level HDOT representative over from  Oahu to speak. As you see there have been numerous meetings this year, and KCA has testified at each one, & we intend to continue this process.

It is our observation that when the project was brought before the  PC years back this Commission’s intent was to require sidewalks be included in this $ 1. M + project, but in the workings of County and State Government, they were not included in the plans. We discovered this when the contracted builder posted the plans in the Maui News, and we saw no sidewalks anywhere, and protested. While the numerous meeting were being held by the PC, composed of all volunteer citizens, construction   continued, and at this point seems completed. No only are there no sidewalks, we believe the expanded intersection is even more dangerous for pedestrians than before!

A pedestrian walking up Ohukai to the highway on the north side of the road (against vehicle traffic as advised) on a narrow shoulder, after sidewalk ends, must first cross the right turn lane exiting the highway with no traffic signal. He would do so in a marked crosswalk which is placed BEFORE the yield sign, to reach a “island,” :which has a button to activate a walk signal to cross Ohukai, to reach the marked crosswalk to transgress the P Hwy.

We cannot wait to hear the HDOT rationale for this entire fiasco in N Kihei, as well as Commission view what can be done at this point to mitigate this grievous error, which puts of pedestrians, including KCHS students, in harm’s way

5/12/15 UPDATE  Yup, you guessed it back again. We wish to thank both Planning Director and Commission Chair for adjusting this item to the beginning of the agenda to allow the three community testifiers to offer their input, and quickly listen to the Commissions discussion of the matter. Two of the three testifiers were your Association’s President and Vice President followed by Mark Hyde of South Maui Citizen’s for Responsible Growth. While the State DOT was not present this time, our understanding is the Commission requested someone from the main office in Honolulu be present at a future meeting.  Stay tuned.

4/28/15  We WANT those sidewalks!!

Once again the matter of the HDOT improvement project at Ohukai and the Pi’ilani Hwy was on Planning Commission’s agenda this morning (4/28/15), having been deferred at last (4/14) meeting, http://gokihei.org/development-project-review/two-kca-directors-testify-at-planning-commission so KCA was back offering testimony using logic and reason to explain why the time is right to include sidewalks here.

Like last time, the major focus of this meeting was orientation to the volunteer Commissioners, part 2 of 2,  this time focusing on shoreline considerations, including SMA permits, flooding and short term rentals and B & B’s.

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As always we are unable to cover these meetings in their entirety, but we did observe planning presentations concerning STR and B&B’s by Gina Flammer and the first portion of the shoreline topics of erosion and sea level rise offered by the “tag team” of Planner Jim Buika and Sea Grant Specialist Tara Owens . Members will likely recall their presentation for our Community meeting back on Jan of last year. SEE :

http://gokihei.org/meeting-recap/first-2014-community-meeting-on-coastal-erosion

As  the “Ohukai Sidewalks item”  was a latter agenda item, & while we could not remain, we do understand the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) did have a representative  attend to offer comments and presumably answer Commissioners’ questions, but we have no details. However the Commission will again have this item on the agenda for their next meeting, likely on May 12.

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Akaku was once again recording the meeting, so watch for it later this week or next week to ascertain these missing detailsIMG_0764 IMG_0765 IMG_0766 IMG_0767IMG_0758IMG_0758 IMG_0755 IMG_0753 IMG_0754 IMG_0747 IMG_0748 IMG_0749 IMG_0750 IMG_0751

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