UPDATE 10/20/17 MEETING THIS MORNING: THE TOPIC WAS REFERRED TO COMMITTEE
Most people on Maui seem to agree that we need better transportation infrastructure. When looking at motor vehicle transportation, who does not see the challenge getting over the Pali to the westside? If you head to the North shore, the chokepoint at Paia grows worse each year. In our region how long must we wait for the North South Collector Road? Development continues and in spite of the community plan stating that infrastructure must be concurrent with development, the reality is, it does not happen, and governments say we do not have the money to build the needed infrastructure.
There is no political will to slow development, and we need housing badly, so what is the answer?
Of course alternative transportation immediately comes to mind as we have advocated for decades for a walkable bikeable community. This is not a “silver bullet”, but it is part of a progressive multifaceted plan, including an improved bus system, and possibly a ferry. Better planning would help too, as live-work communities reduce commuting.
But there is a proposal working its way through the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization (SEE http://gokihei.org/volunteer/mpo-policy-board-met-september-28-2017)and seemingly into the County Council this Friday (10/20) to begin consideration of adding a Maui-only one half percent “surcharge” to the GET that all of us pay on just about everything, to be devoted strictly to Maui transportation. We have no details yet, but expect they will be revealed as the Council discusses and deliberates.