While I appreciate the crowded agenda of the County Council, it seems we are overlooking two important issues in dismissing the post office as “not a county concern.”
There are two concerns: functionality, and preserving the attractiveness of Lihue as a visitor draw and its historical significance. Visitors whisk through on their way to everywhere else.
Without efforts to preserve its utility, Lihue becomes a traffic jam we would all rather skip over, and just go to Kukui Grove. Nawiliwili already deflects many visitors away from the Lihue Town Center, westward. Progress marches west.
Functionality of Lihue is critical to the efforts to promote a safe and attractive Lihue Town center and traffic corridors. Tax revenues depend on viable business infrastructure. Sending and receiving packages and mail is essential to creating sustainable commerce, cash flow and tax revenues.
The loss of post office drop boxes has made a central place to drop mail, or purchase mail, essential. Business and commerce rely on proximity to function. Time is money. Our “coconut wireless” depends on the the human connections rather than the internet.
Critical thinking requires considering the following:
1. Every resident of Lihue is not the owner of a car.
2. The county supports many lower income housing units.
3. The county is trying to promote walkability in central Lihue.
4. There is a large percentage of long-time residents, children and seniors, who walk in Lihue.
5. Bus service to the airport post office is not frequent enough to be useful.
6. More traffic through central Lihue to leave and go to the airport creates problems.
7. Locals will shortcut along Hardy Street to get to the bypass road, increasing traffic by the schools.
8. Feeder streets to Ahukini will impact flow from the light at Kaumualii Highway, causing more congestion, at a highly impacted traffic junction.
9. County employees will waste time and gas leaving to get to the airport, or a new county courier will be required. HR costs.
Therefore, it is very much a county concern, because without history or functionality, Lihue becomes a meaningless interruption in the smooth flow of human activity and enjoyment. You are the stewards of history, not just because you are its sons and daughters, but because we voted for you to Malama our Aina.
Trusting you to do our best, sincere mahalo and aloha.
Virginia Beck has lived on Kauai since 1971.