If I were running Kauai, here’s what I would do

If I were running anything here on Kauai, the first thing I would do is to make a big roundabout at the Coconut MarketPlace — alternate route. With a large roundabout, the cars from Kapaa would keep moving, the traffic from the MarketPlace wouldn’t be waiting, the cars coming from Lihue turning mauka to the alternate route, wouldn’t stop Kapaa highway traffic.

Everything would flow slow but steady.

The next thing I would do is start charging for beach access. The crowded North Shore needs much more park rangers/lifeguards. Has anyone on the council, or Mr. Mayor, been to Ke‘e Beach’s sad joke of a parking lot? (It was better when it was Taylor Camp.)

Are we in the tourist business? Then we better start realizing that our visitors are here to enjoy our weather, sunshine, beaches, trails and surf.

Seems like places like Queen’s Bath seriously need a park ranger/lifeguard. Another place is Lumahai. The obvious area is Haena to Kalalau.

In the USA, it costs $5 a car just to go to little manmade lakes. But once you’re there, there’s parking and picnic facilities with a shelter over a picnic table and a barbecue grill nearby. Toilets, water and bear proof trash cans are convenient and clean.

There are RV parking spaces. There are signage that explains the history of the lake. Here we could have an honor system pay for laces like Anini, Kalihiwai. A ranger checks the parked cars for their honor pass. If someone wants to camp in their car, they must pay a fee for camping. After all, bathrooms, park maintenance, water are expenses the county or state needs to pay. If these costs are shouldered by our visitors, who in return will be provided much better, cleaner facilities and better parking arrangements, even our locals will appreciate the fact that the visitors are making our home better.

In other words, let’s provide the services needed in this paradise. Let’s make Kauai into a real, caring garden isle. Sometimes even local surfers die in our surf. Tourists should know this. All this talk about closing this or that (access) burns me up. I think slippery slides should have access, as well as Kipu Falls. If we close every place people get hurt and died, in the end, there would be no beach access. If the county got sued because someone died then it makes sense to have a park ranger/lifeguard, who also is a groundskeeper, maintenance man. The park is assigned to him for xx months, then they rotate.

But the pride in their job and surroundings should be evident. And finally, let’s start charging for fishing licenses. Friends from out of state cannot believe that they do not need a fishing license to fish.

So I asked how much does it cost? I was told $30 for one to two weeks or $50 for the year, and this is for shoreline fishing only. People going deep sea fishing should pay another amount collected by the boat. Of course, these fees will not affect those of us living and sharing our beautiful aina with the tourists, because, after all, we live here and we share the beauty of our island with those who have come a long way.

Once locals can see visible results of sharing our aina with the visitors, we could be more tolerant of the traffic, and locals may feel more aloha toward the malahinis who make our roads and oceans crowded.

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Mizu Sumida is a resident of Kekaha.

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