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North Shore 'Overcapacity' Says Honolulu Council Member

Honolulu City Council Member Heidi Tsuneyoshi made the assessment on Tuesday at a hearing covering North Shore issues.

The agenda included possible solutions to the heavy traffic around Laniakea Beach and the use of city parks for commercial activity.

After hearing North Shore residents express frustration over the congestion, Tsuneyoshi said she planned to revive a stalled proposal to limit commercial tour activity in popular areas.

"The North Shore particularly, we really are looking at an overcapacity issue. We are looking at a trend where we focus so much on promoting tourism. But I think at this time, especially for communities like North Shore, we have to look to management of tourism in our communities for the betterment of residents," Tsuneyoshi said following public comments.

She announced plans to revive Bill 2 (2018), a proposal from last year that aimed to limit or outlaw commercial tour companies from stopping at city parks and beach access rights-of-way in Lanikai, Kailua, Waimanalo and portions of North Shore.

The Honolulu City Council deferred action on Bill 2 in October.

At the same hearing, council members also advanced another resolution urging the state Department of Transportation to reinstall concrete traffic barriers at Laniakea Beach to manage pedestrians and cars. 

In December 2013, around 1,000 feet of concrete barriers were installed along the mauka shoulder of Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea Beach to reduce vehicle and pedestrian traffic. A court order forced the state Department of Transportation to remove the barriers in 2015.

In a written statement, the DOT said that "restricting parking on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea is the most immediate option for improving safety and congestion in the area." 

In August, a 10-year-old boy was struck by a car and seriously injured while crossing the highway at Laniakea.

No date has been set for subsequent hearings for either the barrier or tour bus resolution.

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