At a meeting between the KCA Street Tree Committee, and County Public Works Director David Goode, and Mayor’s Executive Assistant John Buck on Thursday (3/8/12, ) Director Goode advised that the sidewalk in front of the Maui Schooner resort at 980 SKR would be repaved, and the trees would remain in place. Director Goode advised the trees in no way caused Kihei flooding conditions, but he had to urgently replace the sidewalk very soon, so needed to confirm KCA’s position on the fate of the trees. KCA reiterated there was no valid reason to cut down nor uproot the trees, and were extremely pleased that the sidewalk would be paved again. KCA has continuously advocated for a walkable/bikeable community, so replacing the sidewalk was commendable. KCA calls for much more walkable areas of this main thoroughfare. KCA expresses our thanks to the Arakawa administration for this action, and for communicating with the Association.
About one year ago when we learned the four decade old trees were to be cut down, seemingly because the roots were making the sidewalk uneven, the existing sidewalk was removed and the soil beneath dug up to expose the roots for examination. Arborists contacted by KCA expressed professional opinion the removing the trees was unnecessary. While discussion continued, the roots remained exposed, until KCA requested that the soil be restored, which Director Goode’s department did immediately. We then asked for the sidewalk to replaced in a reasonable manner to not harm the trees, but reopen this pedestrian corridor. Seemingly this was delayed while someone continued to consider removing the trees. With the clarification that the community wanted the trees to remain in place, the sidewalk will be replaced.
Once the administration has completed the drainage master plan and traffic master plan, in conjunction with State DOT, apparently at least five years away, the overall situation will be evaluated once again.
On another concern of KCA, Director Goode advised that the $150.K allocated in budget for Kihei bike-ways will be used to extend the bike path on Liloa makai, now terminated at Lipoa, to the community park.