Letters for Friday, April 10, 2015

• Highway shoulder getting narrower • Year 2030 news headlines

Highway shoulder getting narrower

On the Eastside, you have the bike/walk path to exercise and travel in safety away from traffic. We on the Westside used the shoulder of Kaumualii Highway to do the same (bike, walk, etc.) During the years there have been changes to the highway such as turning lanes. It’s understandable that the shoulders get narrow in that area.

However, traveling east from Mana to Waimea,  the shoulder has gotten narrow and unsafe for cyclists, joggers, and walkers (sometimes with their dogs).

Also, with the gas prices, a lot of people are riding mopeds to travel from point A to get to point B.

Now, DOT is resurfacing and bandage the highway from east of Waimea bridge to Hanapepe, the shoulder traveling east on that area of Kaumualii Highway. What is completed looks a lot narrower, especially near the guardrails. The shoulder is so narrow that it makes it unsafe for us Westsiders who run, bike, walk, and ride a moped.

Like Oahu on South King Street and on Kaumualii Highway from Puhi to Rice Street turn off there are designated bike paths. Why not do the same (bike paths) along Kaumualii Highway on the west side? There is still plenty of room to do a path along the whole stretch of the highway.

Howard Tolbe, Eleele

Year 2030 news headlines

The Mahaulepu Ranch Estates subdivision has reported all units are now sold. After Omidyar/Case proposed a dairy in 2014 amid public outcry, the county approved a 150-unit ranch estate plan with almost no public opposition.

The county has completed all bus shelters.

“My mother took the bus for 20 years, waiting in the sun and the rain. She would have been happy this has finally gotten finished. I only wish she would have lived to see it.”

Kauai welcomed its two millionth visitor this year. The county estimates there are now 22,000 rental cars on the road on any given day.

Commute times are now averaging two hours from Kapaa to Lihue. 

“At least the views are beautiful while you wait in traffic,” one county official was quoted.

The average home price on Kauai is now over $2 million, the Board of Realtors announced. The North Shore leads the island with the average over $4 million.

More stringent water rationing rules to come in effect. Overdevelopment and agra-business are to blame. The Kauai Visitors Bureau has proposed desalinization plants be built rather than limiting visitors or development.

Princeville Airport runway expanded to accommodate overseas flights from Asia.

GMO crops are Kauai’s No. 1 export, while organic farming has failed due to non-certification from high levels of pesticides found in yields.

John Humphrey, Hanalei

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