New report shows alarming hidden costs of parking in Hawaii

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Credit: KRON

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new report released by Ulupono Initiative revealed that a single renter in urban Honolulu could be paying as much as 37% of their rent on parking.

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“The Costs of Parking in Hawaii,” a report that sheds light on the costs of developing, operating, and maintaining common types of parking facilities in the state, found that the inflated rates are a large contributor to the high cost of development in the state.

The initiative said they began to conduct research to further look into the real costs of constructing and maintaining parking in Hawai‘i and whether this had potentially significant impacts on housing affordability, costs of living, public health, quality of life, and other shared interests.

The report showed that in some cases, the amount of parking at residential and commercial locations isn’t based on actual or estimated demand, but rather required by local regulations developed over a generation ago.

“Parking is one of the fundamental components of how our neighborhoods are developed and redeveloped, but it is very infrequently discussed in the context of costs — and whether we value it equally. Many people need parking for a variety of reasons, from mobility issues to economic and lifestyle realities. However, there are many who don’t need as much parking but still are required to pay for it.”

– Kathleen Rooney, Director of Transportation Policy and Programs, Ulupono Initiative. 

The report also found that there are real differences in these costs. For example, the low end could be $4,200 per stall for on-grade parking (such as surface parking) at a residential site in Hawai‘i County, but that can be as high as $60,400 per stall in a commercial parking garage on Kaua‘i.

Many developers and residents do not have a choice in whether to pay for these facilities.

“In looking at these numbers, it is one thing to say we need parking; it is another to say we need it to the tune of more than a third of one’s rent, an extra $800 per month in mortgage costs, or an extra $45,000 to the cost of a home — all without any individual choice in the matter.”

– Rooney, Ulupono Initiative

Ulupono Initiative says rightsizing and better managing parking present opportunities to more dynamically utilize urban land for housing, retail, and community needs — such as increasing demand for more people-oriented design and active transportation and living — instead of merely for vehicles or vehicle storage.

To view the full report click here.

To find out more about Ulupono Initiative, visit their website.

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