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Honolulu City Council Considers Commercial Vehicle Ban on Public Streets

Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council is advancing a bill to prevent large commercial vehicles from clogging narrow residential streets.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Brian Yamane testified before the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee

Bill 48, if signed into law, would prohibit large commercial vehicles from parking on public streets for more than 4 hours.  It would apply to a bus, truck, trailer, van or other commercial vehicle with a gross weight of 9-thousand pounds or more, or one that is more than 20 feet in length, bumper to bumper.   Brian Yamane lives on a steep, winding side street in Moanalua Gardens.


“One resident, in particular, owns and air conditioning business with at least 4 panel vans that are just under the 10-thousand pound limit for a commercial vehicle.  He has flatbed trucks and at least five cars.  He doesn’t have room at his business location in Kalihi so he treats this small street that he lives on as his own little private parking lot.”


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Myrna Yamane

Yamane told members of the City Council Budget Committee that his wife, Myrna, has had near head-on collisions because of limited visibility caused by the large parked vehicles.   The City Department of Transportation Services supports the bill and Deputy Director,  John Nouchi, recommended increasing the penalties…

“Currently, the fine of not less than $15 is very low and does not provide a disincentive for not complying with the law.  We checked with other jurisdictions on a national level and we found that our

Credit Wayne Yoshioka
DTS deputy director, John Nouchi

current fine in place does lag when it comes to places like Houston, which is $60, New York City is $65, Los Angeles is $78 and San Francisco and St. Louis are both at $100 and we recommend that the fine for violations of this section be increased to not less than $75.”


The Budget Committee advanced the measure for the 2nd of 3 hearings by the full council, August 15th.  The councilmembers also passed a resolution to implement a pilot project for dock-less scooters and other transportation alternatives.   Councilmember Trevor Ozawa says Biki Bikes, the only bike sharing company in Honolulu, is a monopoly.


Budget Committee chair, Trevor Ozawa

“Having more competition in the city is better for the taxpayers and better for the consumers.  I mean, really, if we’re trying to get more people to use it, people are gonna have to find it affordable unless we’re gonna call it a city bike-share program, I mean, like The Bus.  There’s only one city bus.”


The City Administration also provided Biki Bikes with a one million dollar grant in aid for startup costs and the use of city parking spaces.   Councilmember Ann Kobayashi said the company also received other preferential treatment.


Council member Ann Kobayashi

“All these little neighborhood kids have to take their bikes in to be registered.  But these bikes were not.  I believe that they did like a mass registrations and these poor neighborhood kids always have to register their bikes.  So, where’s the fairness.”


Ozawa plans to introduce Bill 57 to establish a program to regulate alternative modes of docked and dock-less shared-use transportation.   Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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