The City is reviving a proposal to build a bridge to connect McCully and Mo’ili’ili to Waikiki.
The Ala Pono project is exploring the possibility of building a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Ala Wai Canal. Mayor Kirk Caldwell attended the first community meeting Saturday and said all options are on the table.
“Maybe its providing more pedestrian access on the Mccully Bridge or Kalakaua Bridge or the Ala Moana Bridge. Or maybe it’s building another bridge, my preference is not for vehicles. But, I’m looking for a way for pedestrians and bike riders and folks like that to move, Mauka to Makai.”
Other options include an aerial tram or tunnel. But, the pedestrian- bicycle bridge would be 80-percent federally funded with no money provided for vehicle use. One proposed crossing would be at University Avenue and another near the Ala Wai Golf Course. Albert Matsuda, a 40-year resident, said a bridge at University Avenue would be horrific.
“The people from upper Manoa, if they wanna go to Waikiki to watch a parade, because parking is so expensive, they gonna park over here at Ala Wai Community Park and take up all the parking stalls.”
Ikaika Olds, his wife and baby just moved into their newly purchased University Avenue condominium on the ground floor.
“We had someone try to break into our unit through the sliding doors. I’ve had chronics sitting out in front of my lanai and packing up their drugs or going through a backpack they probably stole. That’s why I’m leaning more ‘no’ right now unless the powers that be backed it up with enforcement, presence and actually have HPD patrolling.”
The City Department of Transportation Services complete streets staff conducted a live poll of community meeting attendees with mobile electronic devices. More than 75 percent of those polled preferred the new bridge. Christine Langworthy is a retired U-H Manoa professor.
“I’ve been here almost 50 years. So I remember the time when Waikiki was where actually a lot of people who lived here, including myself, go down there and it made a lot more fun for everyone. And that’s missing now.”
Dominica Derrien Bartley also favors an Ala Wai crossing…
“I was against at the beginning for matter of security but I’m ‘for’ now if it’s only for pedestrian, bicycle but it has to be with a beautiful bridge like an iconic kind of thing that everybody should relate to and by seeing it. Ooh, it’s Honolulu.”
An online project survey is available at Honolulu.gov/completestreets/alapono. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.