Parking at Laniakea Beach on the North Shore was near impossible today.
That’s because several residents decided to park their car there so beach-goers couldn’t .
Traffic at Laniakea been a problem for years.
“The traffic here has become horrendous, and it’s affecting our locals to the max,” North Shore resident Jack Reid said.
“It’s becoming impossible to live out here with this traffic,” Boyd Ready added.
Residents say they were tired of people complaining about the traffic, so they decided to do something.
Today, cars were parked as barriers just like the one’s that were in place years ago.
Protestors could even be seen telling tour buses to keep moving.
“Nobody is crossing the street, and everyone is able to go through with no problem. They’re all thanking us because they can get to work on time. It’s amazing, we didn’t expect that to happen,” North Shore resident Tonya Reid said.
There was a flow of traffic at 11:30 a.m., something residents say doesn’t happen on a weekend. They say if they weren’t parked there today, traffic would be backed up all the way to the Haleiwa bypass.
“We have to do something about this traffic problem, we’re planning on coming every weekend and supporting this cause in trying to alleviate the traffic,” pro surfer Liam McNamara said.
One resident said she has friends that live at Pupukea and Sunset.
“They have to plan their whole lives around traffic. When they’re going to leave, when they’re going to go home. They won’t even go out on the weekend, they’re being prisoners in their own home. They can’t even enjoy their own island, they can’t get out,” she said.
Residents say their ideas for possible solutions aren’t being heard.
“There’s been many solutions — there’s been the overpass, change the road to where road comes this way, put a parking lot on the beach side, put a bridge down here that people could be walking under. There’s so many different ways things could be done, but nobody does anything,” Reid said.
North Shore representative Sean Quinlan says he drafted a bill yesterday. The bill would make Laniakea a Marine Life Conservation District and would prohibit activities like parasailing, swimming, water sledding, and high speed boating. He added surfing would still be allowed, but hopes the beach wouldn’t be as appealing if swimming wasn’t allowed.
Quinlan says he noticed another problem.
“A lot of tour busses are bringing folks down here to see the turtles and they’re not following the rules,” Quinlan said. “They’re getting too close to the turtles, surrounding the turtles. I’ve even see people feed turtles lettuce, which is unacceptable.”
“I’m a business owner out here and I appreciate the tourism, we all know tourist are important to us. But this beach has been overrun,” McNamara added.
“Tourism is important to the islands but there has to be a balance between tourism and quality of life and simply put on the North Shore we’ve lost it,” resident Toby Tankersley said.
The Department of Transportation responded to the issue saying:
At this time, we know the barriers worked. HDOT is continuing to clear the environmental issues on this while studying a new road alignment that can be constructed when funding is available.”
– Shelly Kunishige