A dramatic increase in metered parking rates took effect around Oahu today, though it will take time for all the meters to be updated.
As with any price increase, people are not happy, but some businesses dependent upon street parking are especially concerned.
The price of metered parking has doubled around Oahu, causing displeasure and great concern in Chinatown.
The 100-percent parking increase was approved by the city in June of 2017. Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock was among those who testified against it.
Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, president of the Chinatown Business & Community Association says, “Nobody likes it when you double the parking rate. That’s insane. If you go like, ‘Oh, I raised it 20 percent,’ people can stomach it, right? Who goes double something, except the City and the State can have this kind of power.”
In crafting the parking rate increase, the city cited research from the Honolulu Urban Core Parking Master Plan. It says under-priced street-parking can increase traffic congestion by 30-percent on average — and sometimes, by nearly 50 percent, as drivers hunt for on-street parking.
To Ian Nguyen, part-owner of lunch and dinner restaurant Duc’s Bistro, $3 for one hour of parking is too much.
“I think it’s a little bit excessive, especially, like I said, for people who are looking for a bargain down here. You can buy groceries down here and patronize restaurants that are independent restaurants and if you’re making it more difficult for people to do that then it’s a loss for everybody, I think.”
Shubert-Kwock says, “A lot of people say it’s really unfair, targeting Chinatown, targeting Waikiki, we need the, even the residents and visitors need to park and we are the visitors to Waikiki and to Chinatown. We shop, we need to stop and park. If you don’t make it affordable, you’re just killing our business.”
We have posted a list of municipal parking lots, which offer cheaper parking. There are six of them around Chinatown. As for parking in Waikiki, meters must be fed until 10 p.m.