Kawaihau Road bus stop deferred

LIHUE — When it comes to creating bus stops, Mel Rapozo, chair of the Kauai County Council, wants to make sure they will be accessible for everyone.

That’s why the council voted to defer a decision on passing a resolution that proposes establishing a bus stop on Kawaihau Road, west of Awa’a Place, near the Menehune Food Mart and the Kauai Athletic Club.

The two-week deferral will give officials enough time to figure out if the area is ADA accessible.

“We’re putting a bus stop up for the people, and we need to make sure it’s accessible for everyone,” Rapozo said.

He asked Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer, and Michael Moule, chief of the engineering Division of Public Works, if the proposed bus stop needs to be examined by the Americans with Disabilities Office before it is approved.

Because the area has paved gravel around the stop, it is not required for ADA to inspect it, Moule said.

“If we were going to design something, like putting in a shelter, we would have to get inspected,” he said. “But we’re not doing an actual on-site design.”

But Moule said he couldn’t confirm if the area meets the exact ADA requirements, so Rapozo suggested deferring the resolution to make sure the county isn’t violating any laws.

“I have some concerns about the ADA issues. I’m not convinced we don’t have to go to ADA. I think we do,” he said.

The county is in the process of inspecting bus stops to get them ADA accessible, Tabata added.

Tabata said he believes the proposed bus stop on Kawiahau Road is ADA accessible.

“But we can do more follow up,” he said.

During the meeting, council members Mason Chock and Ross Kagawa raised safety concerns.

“It’s a busy road,” Chock said.

The county chose the area specifically because it has a wide shoulder lane, Moule said.

“There’s an area adjacent to the travel lane that allows the bus to pull all the way in, and not block traffic,” he said.

The proposed bus stop will be serviced by an on-call system, meaning it will only stop when there are people there or if it is requested, Moule said.

The long-term plan is to construct a shelter,” he added.

“There’s a lot of activity with the Athletic Club and the food mart right there, Moule said.

The $500 project is covered in the Department of Public Works’ operating budget, he added.

The resolution will be discussed again on Aug. 3.

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