Letters for Friday, October 11, 2013

• Bikes lanes won’t solve traffic woes • Developers must offer transparency • Developer should address concerns

Bikes lanes won’t solve traffic woes

The Garden Island interview with Lee Steinmetz (Oct. 6), the county’s new transportation planner was quite interesting.

It appears that his job will be to make our roads safer and “more accessible to bikes and pedestrian traffic with the Multimodal Land Transportation Plan.”

We have some major problems on Kauai that certainly need addressing, but none affect our local driving public or our visitors more than traffic. The visitors who are the engine that runs our island will decide that they can sit in traffic in LA or New York and stop coming to Kauai unless we fix this problem.

And yet, ironically, none of our transportation people in past years have pushed to build alternated roads or make the ones we have more conducive to moving around our Island.

And now Mr. Steinmetz, in his TGI interview, gives answers at least seven times about using the Multimodal Land Transportation Plan, which leans on bikes, buses and walking to alleviate traffic.

Bike lanes have been on Kauai for 40 years and their miniscule use have taken few if any vehicles off our roads. And yet we propose to spend $150 million or more on another path (an insane $5.2 million per mile!!) to waste more taxpayer money. As Joan Conrow said, this multi-use path could even increase traffic since people who use it have to drive their vehicles to get to it.

Yes, the word bike path is a great sound bite, but in reality it is an expensive project and on a priority scale is not even on our radar screen.

The bottom line here is that those in power must address the needs of the majority of the people, those who use their vehicles and will never abandon them for bikes, buses or walking. Yes, we do need to address the needs of those who cannot drive (alternate means other than buses fail to be examined) but we have to put alternate roads at the top of our to do list to alleviate our horrendous traffic problem and any multi-modal transportation system is not the answer.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

Developers must offer transparency

Leo Azambuja wrote two articles about Waipake ahupuaa and the Kahu Aina subdivision, and possible violations involving illegal tree and brush removal inside the state conservation district there, in TGI Oct. 8.

 Shawn Smith is the property manager for Falko Partners, and is also Gov. Abercrombie’s appointee to serve as Kauai’s member of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. That board sits in judgment of land use violations in conservation districts around the state. More than anyone on Kauai, Shawn Smith should know whether a permit is required for such work. Is it? Falko Partners presently has no such permit.

 Almost to the hour on the same day this alleged violation took place, Falko Partners attorney Dennis Lombardi testified to County Council about the Kahu Aina project. Among other things, Lombardi stated “… We were completely transparent in this effort … there was no trickery … there was no effort to hide … there has been no subterfuge…”

 Regarding the historic, lateral, coastal, ala loa trail in Waipake, owned in fee simple by the state of Hawaii, the same trail fenced off by Patricia Hanwright in Kaakaaniu, and by Bruce Laymon’s Paradise Ranch, leased from Waioli Corporation in Lepeuli, Lombardi said “I’m not going to address the ala loa because I think that is a false issue here.”

Hanwright, Laymon, Waioli Corporation, and Falko Partners all have attorneys representing their private interests. The public now needs an attorney to represent our public interest.

Richard Spacer, Kilauea

Developer should address concerns

What is the developer’s plan for sewage treatment on the planned Waipake development? What is the plan for preventing soil from the building site washing into the sea?

These issues come to mind, in light of the damage occurring at Hanalei Bay, the lack of public toilets in Kilauea, and the sewage overflows at Waimea, Kalapaki, and Hanapepe.

Aren’t these reasonable questions to be answered before more development of Kauai’s oceanfront?

Suzan Kelsey Brooks

West Des Moines, Iowa

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