Kalihi Valley area residents on-street pilot parking program launches


Night one of a city pilot project in Kalihi Valley is underway. No permit, no street parking.

So far feedback is positive.

The project called “restricted parking zones” began at 6:00 p-m. on Saturday, April 1 in the Wilson Tract neighborhood of Kalihi.

The goal of the pilot is to deal with overcrowded streets in that neighborhood.

The program has been about a year in the making, it’s the first of its kind for Hawaii and it’s one that residents are hopeful will work.

To be able to park on the street, each household in that area should have gotten two parking permits, along with two guest permits. There is a grace period of 60 minutes, but anyone parked on the street without a permit risks getting a $35 ticket and/or towed, which KHON2 saw tonight.

Residents lined up last weekend to register for permits and we’re told about 75 percent of residents who live in the restricted parking zones got them. Then signs went up Friday morning on Alu, Wilson, and Jennie streets reminding people that only those with permits can park on the street from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Residents say it’s normally noisy in the area, with heavy foot traffic and a lot of cars driving around looking for parking. But not tonight.

“The whole tone of this area has shifted extremely positively. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and if you walk down the street you’ll see a lot more people sitting outside, walking their dogs, and just talking about it. They’re very excited,” said Chris Wong.

This is a community-born project that came from the neighborhood board level.

“I’m hopeful that it will work, fines have been pretty good at discouraging illicit activities when caught,” Michael McDonald, Vice-Chair of the Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board, said. “I thought it was really great that a culmination of our council members, our senators, our neighborhood board members and area residents came together and saw this project to fruition.”

The program could be implemented in other areas on the island if it’s successful.

“If this project succeeds, it may not be able to carry over to other neighborhoods verbatim. But we can use it as an inspiration or springboard to tailor or customize it for areas experiencing the same kind of issues,” said Michael McDonald, kalihi valley neighborhood board

If the project succeeds beyond the 30-day trial period, the permits that were free will then have a fee and the amount will be decided on by the community.

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