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City Plans to Acquire a Privately Owned Section of Leahi Avenue

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The City and County of Honolulu is trying to acquire a privately owned section of Leahi Avenue. Recent road changes have divided the neighborhood.

Resolution 21-175 refers to the section of Leahi Avenue between Monsarrat Avenue and Noela Street.

The residents of the area have been asking the city for years to address the safety concerns of the area — including speeding, illegal parking, and the lack of sidewalks.

Community member Mary Jones founded Safe Leahi LLC and acquired the street last year through a quitclaim deed from the Lunalilo Trust. The deed stipulated that Safe Leahi would relinquish ownership to the city if it ever wanted to.

The city did not and Safe Leahi attempted to make traffic improvements — with mixed results.

Ryan Kusuda, the principal of Waikīkī Elementary School on Leahi Avenue, said, "The changes made to the privately owned Leahi Avenue has created unsafe conditions that put our children and surrounding community at totally avoidable risk."

"The paid parking stalls that now jut into the road on the makai side of Leahi creates dangerous scenarios of drivers either unsure of the yielding procedures, or individuals driving even faster to beat the potential of having to pull over and wait until oncoming cars pass by," Kusuda said.

The measure will be discussed for adoption in front of the full city council next month.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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