Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023 |
Share this story
We love Ke Ala Hele Makalae. There are few paths like in the world where you can walk, run, bike, just stroll along and enjoy a spectacular ocean view. It’s especially wonderful this time of year for watching whales. An extension of the path, between Waipouli Beach Resort to Coconut MarketPlace, would be fantastic.
We believe this path is a huge asset and encourages people to get out, be active and lead a healthy lifestyle. We would like to see the Lydgate Park to Ahukini Landing extension, and Ahukini Landing to Lihue and Nawiliwili. And if a segment from Ahihi Point to Anahola is possible, we support that extension, too.
The path is a treasure and undoubtedly an attraction for residents and visitors.
We say all that, however, with a few concerns. Those being, how much has been spent so far on the path, what’s the ballpark for how much those path extensions would cost, and is it worth it? Would we be better off spending our money on providing a long-term solution to the maddening traffic in Kapaa? Ke Ala Hele Makalae is a start toward easing traffic and offering people another way to reach their destination without their vehicle, but in reality, it probably hasn’t done much toward keeping cars and trucks off roads and likely won’t in the near future.
Again, it’s the price tag that raises questions.
Consider that it cost $3.38 million for a 0.75-mile stretch of the coastal path from Lihi Park to the Uhelekawawa Canal pedestrian bridge between the Kauai Village Shopping Center and Waipouli Town Center.
Consider that it cost $5.6 million to construct a path segment along Kawaihau Road and constructing the path from the Bryan J. Baptiste Memorial Bridge to the Coconut MarketPlace.
Lord knows what it would cost for a 1.2-mile alignment that would take path users along a coastal route from the Mokihana of Kauai to the Coconut MarketPlace. And the cost to extend the path from Lydgate Park to Ahukini Landing, from Ahukini Landing to Lihue and Nawiliwili, and from Ahihi Point to Anahola would likely be exorbitant. We’re talking many, many millions based on the expenses of past path extensions.
Before any commitments are made and contracts are signed, those in charge will have to decide if more taxpayer money should go toward it. The public will need to know how much money has been spent to date on the coastal path so we can get a better look at the pros and cons. Transparency, a popular buzz word, would do well here. Let’s continue to plan for extending the path, study the routes by which this path could extended and outline such plans to the public.
And let’s spell out the expenses as they become available. Maybe we have to choose between the path or studying, developing or improving a Kapaa bypass route.
As we have said, the path is an asset and we like it. Love it, even. A place where we can run, walk and bike is valuable to create that active lifestyle which health experts say is so important. It is a step in the right direction toward making it possible for people to commute safely without their car and perhaps ease a little of that traffic congestion. If the path extensions previously mentioned actually happen without extraordinary costs, the benefits for Kauai could be significant.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.