LANIKAI (KHON2) — Officials with the Department of Transportation Services want folks to stay away from Lanikai and Kailua Beach Park through the holiday weekend.
DTS expects extreme traffic along those popular Windward beaches through Monday, Jan. 16.
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Allison Bohnhoff of Kalapawai Market is very familiar with congestion around the roundabout.
“Yeah it’s been crazy, so right now they’re going opposite way into Lanikai and then through the beach park and then back out. But, that means anybody leaving Lanikai has a very difficult time trying to get to anything around here because they have to come all the way out. Then, there’s the detour, and they can’t do a U-turn. So, then they drive all the way down,” Bohnhoff said.
There is plenty of signage. But is there also a lot of confusion?
“Yeah,” Bohnhoff said, “a lot, people are going the wrong way, people not sure where they’re going, just frustration because they don’t know where to park, how to get to anywhere.”
Cars circled for spaces at each of the parking lots at Kailua Beach Park.
“So, we want to go to the beach; it’s a really nice day out. So, we came down, and we’ve just been going around this parking lot. And, we started off in the parking lot over there; and we’ve just driving up and down Kailua, just this whole area looking for somewhere to park,” Kainoa Soda said.
“Yeah it’s just, long process just driving around hoping somebody’s leaving,” said Kaimana Batungbacal, “you know?”
Congestion is known to build up around the Kailua Beach Park detour. Officials asked everyone to limit non-essential travel in that area and Lanikai Beach through Monday.
“We noticed on Friday that traffic was ramping up in a particularly excessive and extraordinary way,” said DTS deputy director Jon Nouchi, “and on Friday, we had to make that decision to make that plea in order to give the residents of Lanikai and the people who normally use Lanikai and visit Lanikai, this long weekend could be particularly bad.”
Folks coming from Lanikai into Kailua will be detoured through Kailua Beach Park and end up on Kailua Road right next to Kalapawai Market. Parking is also restricted in Lanikai from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan. 17. Click here for more information.
DTS said construction is paused for the holiday weekend.
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“We just ask that if you could find another alternative beach, there are a lot of other nice beaches,” Nouchi said, “try a beach park you’ve never tried before, even in Kailua just right down the road there’s Kalama Beach Park, there are other places to go, just for this weekend.”