THE NEXT BIG DOGWALK?: Today’s we’re presenting a guest editorial by Glenn Mickens who is not particularly enjoying saying “we told you so” to all the people who are just finding out that the east side coastal area and trail they used to enjoy as an undeveloped area is now a big deal attraction with rules up the wazoo.
No one listened when people shouted from the rooftops to watch out, predicting this would be the end result. And we don’t expect anyone to listen this time to those warning about what’s happening at Hapa Road in Po`ipu which has been designated for “preservation” by being turned into “Hapa Trail” .
Sounds good, eh? Well so did the “bike path” before it turned into the “dog path”, as most councilpersons have inadvertently referred to it. That includes former Chair, now Mayor, Kaipo Asing who a couple of weeks ago used the magic words we’ve been using for a month or so now before he turned red amidst the laughs the gaff generated.
Some are warning now that Hapa Trail is going to turn into another “bike path” fiasco. Just watch last week’s council meeting for some hair-raising concerns from people like Ken Taylor and Elaine Dunbar.
They warn that local residents who use the dirt road now as a place to get away from all the tourists in the area will eventually find themselves in the latest “Disneyland” tourist trap if developers get the “traffic plan” they funded- which includes “sprucing up” Hapa Road and changing it’s name- to be an official county plan... along with some $400,000 of county money to tart up the sprucing.
Juan Wilson has a piece today describing the adjacent development to be called “Villages at Po`ipu”, another piece of work from piece of work Stacy Wong and his Knudsen Trust, the people who brought you the Monkeypod Shopping Center by cutting down all the monkeypods. It worth reading if only to remind us that this is going to be an expensive county boondoggle to turn another local hangout into a tourist amenity.
The county is even thinking of trying to get it declared part of some kind of federal historical something-or-other to get more funding linked to “economic development”.
We’re not really sure what all this is leading to but after watching the council discussion it’s easy to smell something rotten in Po`ipu that stinks worse than just your usual timeshare blight..
Read Glen’s post-mortem of sorts on the bike path and think about what’s going to happen when Hapa Road becomes Hapa Heritage Trail.
by Glenn Mickens
So, the drum beat for this White Elephant bike path continues; TGI A1 story "No EIS for path from Nawiliwili to Ahukini" with only a possibility of Federal funding drying up hindering its construction. With 80% Federal dollars coming from tax payers one pocket and 20% coming from the other, this money tree is ripe for picking by contractors, designers, planners and whoever else can get their hands on it.
Many months ago Council members Rapozo and Iseri-Carvalho wisely held the administration's feet to the fire by asking them a series of 25 questions or more about this ill planned path---total cost, exact route, maintenance, security, land acquisition etc. Answers were never given and thus the path continues on with our money going down the proverbial black hole.
Always remember that the Federal Guidelines as outlined in their Transportation Enhancement booklet states that this "path" will be for transportation and not for recreational purposes. Yet, our council is now spending hours of their valuable time deciding if the law allowing no animals in parks should be changed to allow dogs on this path----unbelievable!!! In other words we are proposing to violate the Federal law even more by using this path for a "dog walk" and not to use it for transportation to get cars off the roads and alleviate traffic, one of Kauai's worst problems!
The projected cost of this 16 mile path (once estimated by the planners as 23 miles) was $51 million dollars but with a laundry list of problems surfacing regularly, this figure will undoubtedly go far north from that amount. At the best case scenario this path will be nothing but segments along an unknown route.
And even if the 16(?) miles were completed what benefit on any prioritized list will it ever have for the total population of this Island? Use the time, energy and money being devoted to this path to get our cane haul roads open to give all people a chance to move and not sit in traffic.
There are some beautiful bike/equestrian paths in California BUT these paths were programmed into the planning process before the area was developed. We are trying to retrofit a path into places already built up ( trying to go through the Foodland/Safeway shopping center!!) and making a round peg fit into a square hole which will never work.
Obviously the 386 page document which was published by R.M. Towill Corp. said that no EIS was necessary took a lot of time and was costly so only the positives were stated---a real no brainer. But again, why no mention of maintenance and security costs or assaults that can happen on isolated sections of that proposed path?
Citizens of Kauai, just ask yourselves if the bang you will get for the obscene amount of money being spent on this path is worth it to you. If not, then when you vote be sure you elect the people who are looking after EVERYONE and not just a select few.