Kilauea, Refuge connection eyed

KILAUEA — Residents on Kauai’s North Shore want better access to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

“We have no sidewalks at all, on our side of the street,” said Donna Schulze. “It’s dangerous, walking on the street or grass.”

The long-time Kilauea resident said the only way to walk safely on Kilauea Road is to cross the street and walk on the sidewalk.

“But there’s a lot of traffic. We can’t get anywhere unless we can walk on the sidewalk,” she said.

But even the sidewalks, which are on the left side of the road, were installed haphazardly, said Thomas Pickett, who owns Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza.

“What’s concerning for our families is pedestrian safety and sidewalks along Kilauea Road from Kolo Road to the lighthouse,” he said. “Right now, it’s old and the sidewalk is on one side of the street.”

The Planning Department will host an open house Wednesday to get resident input on the Kilauea Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Project, a collaborative effort between the County of Kauai, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Lands Division.

The meeting will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center.

The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge just completed its comprehensive conservation plan, said Lee Steinmetz, transportation planner.

The aim of the study is to look at ways to improve connections between Kilauea town and the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge overlook.

Steinmetz said bicycle and pedestrian access from Kilauea to the Refuge might be part of the solution. Initial ideas include sidewalks, shared-use paths, bike markings on the street and enhanced crosswalks.

“The potential solutions vary depending on the existing conditions on Kilauea Road,” he said.

The price tag and timeline of the project have not been determined.

”Any design solutions should reflect the Kilauea community,” Steinmetz said.

The community wants the project done right, Pickett said.

“It’s about the correct dimensions for easements for the roads so that it’s safe,” he said.

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