City considers changes to improve safety, traffic in Haleiwa

Local News

The city wants to make some major changes in Haleiwa town, a popular destination for locals and tourists from all over the world.

A new project will focus on constructing walkways, fixing utilities, and installing landscaping along Kamehameha Highway

The city says it’s looking at four alternative concepts, starting with some minimal changes to major ones, like adding a turn and bike lane.

Many say safety is a priority, and walkways are necessary to keep everyone safe.

“Turn signals would be good in a turn lane, but I think the biggest bet would be more sidewalks, maybe more parking areas, especially for employees,” said Wes Agena, who works at Town and Country Surf.

People who live and work in Haleiwa say they would like to see walkways, instead of a pool of mud and water collected after a day’s rain.

In 2014, a 650-foot walkway was completed in Haleiwa by Kamehameha Schools, right where Matsumoto Shave Ice is located, at a cost of $700,000.

Amy Agustin, a manager at Matsumoto, says she’d like to see wider walkways so more people can move around comfortably.

“I’d like to see opportunities for handicap customers as well as parents with strollers to have a safe trip from one end of Haleiwa to another,” she said.

The city is working with landowners on a project to install walkways along Haleiwa. Some of the plans could include installing a walkway, or a bike path and a turn lane.

Ed Korybski, executive director of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, says landowners will pay 50 percent and the city will pay the rest for the walkways project.

“I think first is safety, then another, do you have to condemn any private land?” he said. “If you’re talking widening the street, that’s one of the issues. The other issue is are you going to reduce parking? And parking is at a premium right now, so some business owners don’t want to see parking taken away.”

No concept art or cost estimate was available at the time of our newscast.

As for the timeline, a city spokesperson says the Department of Design and Construction will provide a preliminary report with an environmental impact study to the city council, and that is expected to be ready by early next year.

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