Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 |
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• Heed the signs
• This land is our land
• Sharing is nice
• Do cyclists have a death wish?
• Learn from others
• Aloha to Keith Nitta
Heed the signs
Yesterday my family visiting Kaua’i for the holidays made the bumpy trek to Polihale State Park. It was well worth the bruised bottom to see the dramatic scenery with the turbulent seas and huge waves crashing on the shore.
But the drama began before we hit the sand as we walked by all of the signs warning us of the dangers and advisories to stay out of the water.
To our surprise we saw what appeared to be a vacationing couple safely situated on the beach watching their young child play in the rough surf. We could not believe our eyes.
Kaua‘i is just as rich, perhaps more rich, for tourists who heed the warnings of the locals. They reduce the risk of heartbreak while on vacation.
The statistics in Ford Gunter’s article (“Residents, visitors suffer heartbreak in Kaua‘i waters,” Dec. 28) on drownings in Kaua‘i were not a surprise.
What surprises me is that the tourist count isn’t higher. I am delighted that the number did not go up by two yesterday.
This land is our land
In the Dec. 28 issue of The Garden Island (“Fore!” Letters) there was a letter about the bike/walk path at the Wailua Golf course.
It said, “I don’t want a bike path going through our public golf course, period!”
I just wanted to point out to the writer that “our” golf course does not mean yours. It means all of ours. This is public land and this is a public walk/bike path that should be welcome on public land.
Also, no matter how often it is pointed out that the path funds cannot be used for roads, people continue to act as if the path funds can be used for roads. It’s time to learn that is not an option for these funds.
The letter also stated: “The council should serve the majority, not the minority.”
That is true — there is a much bigger majority who do not golf at this course but do walk and ride bikes. Therefore I hope the council will serve the majority by putting the path on the public land at the very edge of the golf course, as planned.
Sharing is nice
I strongly disagree with M. Kiyabu, Kapa‘a (“Fore!” Letters, Dec. 28). The proposed bike path offers more than just a small solution for our traffic problems. In addition to preserving open space forever, trails and pathways encourage health and well-being, promote public safety, increase real estate values and spur economic development and neighborhood revitalization.
It seems a little selfish of Mr. Kiyabu to not want to share the island with others. He obviously has not actually tried using the bike lane he talked about. If he did, he would know that when doing so, you risk losing your life — it is not a safe alternative. I also don’t believe that people who want the bike path are the minority. How could anyone oppose something that can only benefit our communities and our way of life?
Mr. Kiyabu, didn’t your mother ever teach you to share?
Do cyclists have a death wish?
M. Kiyabu (“Fore!” Letters, Dec. 28) asks why the bicycle lane along Kuhio Highway between Lihu’e and Wailua is not used by bikers, while millions of dollars are being used to address “recreation purposes.” I can think of two possible reasons why that “bike lane” is not being used:
1) Rather than being a bike lane, it is actually the shoulder of the highway;
2) People are constantly DRIVING IN that space, illegally, making it incredibly unsafe for people to use for biking.
Now, I’m not exactly sure which of these is the bigger factor, but I would guess it is No. 2. I certainly have never seen any sign or marking suggesting that there is a formal bike lane along that road, but perhaps these are marked in some very different way here compared to everywhere else in the country. Who, however, in their right mind would expect someone on a bike to want to ride next to traffic going 50-plus mph, with drivers who seem to have extreme difficulty with something as simple as remaining between two lines? Do you believe cyclists have a death wish?
The point of the bike path is not simply recreation — it is also an attempt to create some infrastructure that will encourage people to not use their cars for all trips. Fewer cars on the road means less traffic congestion and increased safety. Councilwoman Yukimura has stated this many times, so let’s not act like we don’t know what the reasoning is.
Perhaps if people would stop driving as if they had just come from a lobotomy then cyclists could safely ride along the highway, and there would be no need for a bike path, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Head-on collisions don’t even seem to change these terrible driving habits.
Learn from others
I applaud the letter from Mark Jeffers (“The true island lifestyle,” Letters, Dec. 28). Kaua‘i is special and needs to be as proactive as can be to ward off the invasion of the developers and mainland values. It’s appalling when local people can’t afford to live where they are from. I have been lucky to have visited twice and have found the local aloha alive and well. Don’t let what’s happened to my hometown happen to your beautiful island.
Best of luck.
Aloha to Keith Nitta
I wish to acknowledge the service of our county’s long-range planner, Keith Nitta, whose career ended with his retirement Thursday.
Few planners anywhere in the islands have participated in so much of the evolution of planning and zoning practice in this state, and his knowledge has been of great value to Kaua‘i.
He will be hard to replace.
In fact, he should probably be replaced by a planner with a focus on sustainability, as that is our new greatest challenge as an island.
Kudos to you, Keith, and all the best!
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