5/9/20 Saturday morning observation
Construction provides a reminder of South Kihei Goals of Walkable, Bikeable Community
5-5/20 UPDATE- WHAT A MESS We checked out the blockade bott Monday & this morning
Emotions ranged from anger to disbelief by pedestrans with & without dogs & cyclists encountering this complete seal off of Kaonoulu. How do I get to the beach? I have to get to my home. Ride the bike on the HIGHWAY!!?? WTF?
The planned closure of South Kihei Road (SKR) between Ohukai and Kulanihakoi Roads, due to the Hilton Grand Vacations construction on the site of the old Maui Lu hotel property, will doubtless cause traffic congestion.
Having this key section of road closed at the intersection of Kaonoulu and SKR to all modes of transportation, cars, bicycles and pedestrians, may cause the greatest challenge over the next few months. This impending road closure highlights the lack of walkable-bikeable options for South Kihei citizens.
For several decades the Kihei Community Association has advocated for a walkable-bikeable community to little avail.
The various transportation aspects in South Maui projects over the years has resulted in disjointed sidewalks, vanishing bike lanes and almost no safe bike paths at all. An example of a safe one is short segment of Liloa Street, makai of Safeway.
Further, the North-South Collector Road remains in pieces, with disconnected segments. There has been nothing except proclamations of improvement at some time in the future.
Just imagine how different this proposed road closure of South Kihei Road would be if we had had an actual North-South collector road in place.
So closing this section of South Kihei Road will force pedestrians and cyclists en route to other parts of Kihei with no other option except to cross between Kaonoulu Road and Kulanihakoi on the Pi’ilani Highway. This would be right at the pinch point of the Kulanihakoi River Gulch, next to every vehicle going north or south. This is a very unsafe route.
Pedestrians at least have the beach as an alternative, but that can be challenging. Some, for example, may be a caretaker pushing a stroller, etc.
Pedestrians and cyclists who originate from the Kaonoulu neighborhood, Kaonoulu Estates, the Villas at Kenolio, Southpointe or other South Kihei residential areas are cut off from the beach. To access the shoreline, they must travel South, unless they go north to Ohukai!
So, now when we are encouraged to walk, run and bicycle, how many of us will just resort to using motor vehicles, because it will be safer? Once again the goal of having a walkable-bikeable community is forgotten. This is most unfortunate.