County multimodal plan advances

LIHU‘E — County officials have been working for five months on developing a Multimodal Land Transportation Plan for Kaua‘i, which will ultimately be incorporated into the county’s General Plan.

County Transportation Executive Celia Mahioka and mobility expert Jim Charlier gave the Kaua‘i County Council a detailed progress report last week.

The county plan works as a companion plan to the state Department of Transportation’s Long Range Land Transportation Plan, which is more focused on state highways, said Charlier, adding that both plans will be combined in the county General Plan.

“The responsibility that we have is to develop the other parts of the plan that address the relationship between transportation and land use, the development of your transit system, and how to create safe and convenient walking and bicycling systems,” Charlier said.

Charlier, contracted by the county, said the consultants and the state DOT are working in tandem.

This is the first time in the state that at a county level the development of safer and convenient bicycling and walking systems is being done in conjunction with a long-range transit plan, according to Charlier.

In addition, the multimodal plan rides closely with Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s Holo Holo 2020 vision.

Despite the “considerable success” of the Kaua‘i Bus — a 29 percent increased ridership compared to last year —  the county never developed a transit plan, Charlier said.

“It has always been trying to do the best you can year-to-year, and try to respond to demands and needs, so it’s pretty exciting,” he said.

The plan process began in May, and the county is slightly ahead of schedule, Charlier said.

The first workshops happened in August, structured in five island districts — North Shore, Eastside, Lihu‘e, Koloa-Po‘ipu-Kalaheo and Westside —  at which more than 150 people total showed up.

“Everywhere we went people were concerned with the safety of the keiki,” Charlier said.

The next round of workshops will be in February, after the plan goes through an internal review in January.

In the meantime, there will be on-board bus surveys.

Key elements of the plan will be reviewed, and a draft plan will be aligned with Holo Holo 2020.

In April the final draft plan should be ready, and in May Charlier and Mahioka are supposed to go back to the council and have some more discussions before the plan is finalized.

Holo Holo 2020 projects related

to the plan

• Ke‘e shuttle

• Complete streets

• Safe routes to school

• Additional hybrid buses

• Increased access to alternative transportation

• Installing bus shelters at all stops

• Expand routes and hours of operation

Visit www.movekauai.net for more information on the plan’s development, calendar of events, summary of surveys or to participate on the monthly survey.

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