Letter to the Editor for Sunday — October 19, 2003

• Who wants bikes or the bike-walk path?

Who wants bikes or the bike-walk path?

The headline story (GI 9/29) “Bike-walk path from Kapa‘a to Kealia on track” certainly asks a lot more questions than it answers.

For instance, it says when the pathway is completed from Nawiliwili Harbor to Anahola (16 miles!) it will provide Kaua‘i county an alternate transportation route, a safer path for bicyclists and pedestrians and access to the East Kaua‘i beaches by the public.

First, let’s live in the real world. This 16 mile corridor is used 99.9% of the time by vehicular traffic and like it or not the automobile is here to stay. If we wanted to stop using fossil fuel we could resurrect the horse and buggy but this will never happen. We have been bred to the car and this means of transportation will remain the #1 choice to get from point A to point B—for convenience, need or love of your vehicle. Bicycles will remain a recreational tool no matter how many paths are built and if you don’t believe this then ask anyone you know who owns, leases, or rents a vehicle (INCLUDING YOURSELF) if they will abandon their car for a bike—you will hear a resounding NO!!!

Second, we already have access to our beaches along the East Kaua‘i coast so why spend millions of dollars on a bike path on the pretence that it will give us something we already have?

Third, because these ARE your tax dollars being spent please think about this. Two miles of the 16 mile pathway has already been built at Lydgate Park at a cost of $2.6 M—yes, Federal money but still OUR money. As reported, parts of the proposed 16 mile path would be developed on private lands which means a lot of buying of prime beach front property at huge prices. And, the logistics and cost of getting across bridges, Ahukini landing, and hundreds of other inaccessible places would be staggering!!

The bottom line here is that we are looking at millions of dollars spent—realistically 25 to 30 million on this 16 mile segment—to benefit a select few recreational bikers and walkers. This project will not alleviate any of our horrendous traffic problems. In fact, if it is meant to bring more tourists here it will only exacerbate that problem.

I would respectfully request that The Garden Island take a straw poll vote of a cross section of this Island—from Kekaha to Ke‘e and see how many Kauaians will use or benefit from this monumental project. And, again, since no maintenance funds are in Federal grants, be sure and ask the people if they want hundreds of thousands of their dollars spent to upkeep this “white elephant”. We people will get no bang for our bucks so why allow a select group of individuals to push it upon us?

Glenn Mickens



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