(HONOLULU) KHON2 – Construction barriers were placed at a popular and controversial North Shore beach overnight to prevent cars from parking.
But city and state agencies didn’t approve it and now officials are wondering who put them up.
“We came out this morning and noticed all these traffic cones and stanchions blocking off Laniakea’s parking area and we’ve spent the last five or six hours trying to figure out who put them out here,” said Honolulu police Sgt. Kevin Napoleon.
Cars still parked around the barriers and between 9 and 10 a.m. the unknown person or group came back and put up caution tape.
Many people who had already parked around the barriers were confused and asked police why it was being blocked off.
Residents were wondering why police weren’t ticketing the cars as signs in the area read “No Parking, No Stopping, No Standing.”
In a statement two weeks ago HPD said:
The Honolulu Police Department shares the concerns expressed by North Shore residents and others who must drive past Laniakea or Turtle Beach. After issuing parking citations in February 2018, the HPD was informed of an agreement that had been made in 2015 which prohibits parking enforcement to take place for the duration of a lawsuit that had been filed against the City and State. The HPD is currently waiting for direction from city attorneys as the parties work toward resolving the lawsuit.
Half of the area where people park is state jurisdiction. However, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said they didn’t put up the signs or tape either.
Lawmakers were also confused as no events were planned and no notices were given out.
The barriers belong to Safety System and Signs Hawaii.
The company told police they dropped off signs near Waimea for scheduled tree trimming and construction earlier this week, but they didn’t drop them off at Laniakea.
HPD said a permit is required if an area is going to be coned off, and no permit was issued for Saturday.
Two workers from Safety System and Signs Hawaii came around 1 p.m. and removed the barriers.
“Depending on the value of how many they have, I believe we’re going to be making a Theft II case or Theft III case and recovering it and giving it back to safety systems,” Sgt. Napoleon said.
Laniakea was brought into the spotlight once again two weeks ago after a 10-year-old boy was hit by a car crossing busy Kamehameha Highway.
Since then, residents have been asking for possible solutions to the traffic situation.
In a statement, North Shore Honolulu city council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi said:
“I am surprised by the actions that were taken by the unknown parties. However, I am not surprised by the statement these actions make which is that action is needed now!
This issue has been going on for over 10 years. Residents have to wait in traffic to do their daily business taking close to an hour to travel less than 10 miles in their community.
If it took an hour to get through the main roads in Waikiki I am sure we would have seen changes made within weeks.
I urge the Governor and the Department of Transportation to provide a solution and some immediate relief to residents and assess this very unsafe situation.
Although this issue falls under State jurisdiction the City has made repeated efforts to assist in any way we can and look forward to working to address this very important issue in our North Shore communities.