Barnacles come ashore

  • Contributed by Princeville Community Association

    This photo shows the Barnacle, a vehicle-immobilization device that will be used in Princeville starting early February.

PRINCEVILLE — A new method of parking enforcement is set to hit Princeville’s streets in early February, a vehicle-immobilization device called the Barnacle that covers the windshield instead of using a conventional boot on the wheel.

It’ll be cheaper for drivers in the long run, according to the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association (PHCA) , because of the likely elimination of towing fees — which can be a minimum of $300 — as well as a time-saver when it comes to getting back on the road.

“Using wireless communications and tracking technology with its vehicle-immobilization device, the Barnacle attaches to an illegally parked vehicle windshield,” PHCA said in a press release about the device.

It’s a big, yellow square that suctions to the windshield and has a touch pad and digital systems to accept a credit card. Drivers have to pay Princeville’s $150 parking violation fee in order to get the Barnacle off their car, and that can be done via credit card, online or by mobile device.

Then, the driver must return the Barnacle to one of the two return boxes in Princeville.

To let everyone know of the changes, new signs are being installed at the entry of every Princeville neighborhood, warning residents and visitors of parking rules along with the $150 violation fine.

It’s part of an overall attempt to manage the out-of-control parking in the community, which has been a steadily growing problem for several years.

In 2018, PHCA General Manager Rory Enright started researching the Barnacles as a way to help curb parking violations, and he’s hopeful the Barnacles will contribute to a better situation.

“There’s no easy solution,” Enright said Friday. “We struggle to figure out what to do.”

Crammed parking at places like Queen’s Bath and Hideaways beaches is old hat for Princeville, as are the jammed-up streets of standstill cars all vying for one of the coveted spaces.

There are around 10 spaces at the county-owned Queen’s Bath public parking area, and less than that in the Princeville Resort-owned Hideaways public parking area. Other than that, the public can pay to park at the Makai Golf Course and at several resorts.

Parking along the side of the road is off-limits in Princeville, though it’s a daily occurrence.

“The only commercial parking in Princeville is at the shopping center and at the golf course,” Enright said. “The shopping center is always full with people that are shopping there.”

He says the popularity of Queen’s Bath is one of the biggest influences on Princeville’s parking problem, because when the community was designed nobody anticipated it would be a public attraction.

“That Queen’s Bath lot was initially meant for local fishermen, and it wasn’t until the guidebooks wrote about it that it got popular,” Enright said.

The highly popular destination is also highly dangerous — and not just because parking is severely limited. Big waves crash over the rocks and have swept many out to sea over the years, enough that handmade signs at the trailhead often warn visitors that to continue is to put their lives at risk.

In September, PHCA partnered with the county to build a chain-link fence across the trailhead with a gate that could be closed when conditions are dangerous, as well as a sign proclaiming NO TRESPASSING.

Soon after the gate was closed due to hazardous conditions, the public ignored the signs, wearing a path around the end of the fence and continuing despite the warnings.

So PHCA dropped $8,5000 in December and extended the fence into the thick jungle and to the edge of the property line. Officials thought the jungle would be thick enough to dissuade people from going around the fence.

They were wrong.

“It took less than eight hours for them to beat down a path around,” Enright said. “On that second leg (of the fence) we thought we had it. Now we’re practically in the neighbor’s yard.”

It’s not just the signs for Queen’s Bath and the parking signs that are ignored in Princeville. Those posted around the third phase of the Princeville Path rebuild project are ignored as well, and people wander through the Makai Golf Course, at the risk of connecting with a flying golf ball.

“I don’t know that it’s just in Princeville, but there’s disrespect for any signs,” Enright said.

Thursday, PHCA’s Board of Directors met with about 70 people in the community and decided to form a committee that will take a look at parking and signage solutions — solutions like a potential shuttle system or the long-term increase of parking spaces by the PHCA headquarters, as well as brainstorming new, innovative solutions.

“The intent of the committee is to work with the county in seeing what’s next,” Enright said.

•••

Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

11 Comments
  1. Pearl January 21, 2019 3:16 am Reply

    They use to put a very sticky sticker eye level on the driver side windshield. That was always a joy when we were rushing off to work. More than once I just had to drive with it still on, peering around it trying to drive safe. Can’t even remember what the infractions were since we were always parked in the lot for the condo we rented when we’d get ticketed. Thinking it was for a loud muffler, one of the neighbors was always complaining about it. They wanted me to park at the shopping center and walk in, I’m like heck no, I pay a lot to live here, not walking miles to and from my car!


  2. Objectivity January 21, 2019 8:04 am Reply

    I am sure Princeville will have no problem finding a sick person who will enjoy putting these perverse devices on people’s windshields for even the slightest parking violation. The car pictured in the photo is clearly straddling two parking spaces. Of course we have no way of knowing if they parked like that because other cars were parked incorrectly and then left after this car arrived. See how the car is parked to the right of this “barnacled” car in the photo?


    1. kauaiboy January 21, 2019 3:21 pm Reply

      The car pictured in the photo is a PV security vehicle/ Look for the door emblem.

      That said, I ignore Princeville as an enethma. No way to live.


  3. Joe Public January 21, 2019 8:57 am Reply

    What ordnance are they using to support the $150 fine? Majority of the parking violations are just $35 dollars, unless you park in a disabled parking stall.

    Put out a PSA for the mainland to avoid the north shore on your vacation as they will not only milk you on your room and meals, now they are going to make you pay an unusual fine for seeing the sights.


  4. steve ball January 21, 2019 10:57 am Reply

    Let’s put this parking problem in perspective. “Out of control parking problem in the community” implies there a thousands of cars illegally parked on the roads of Princeville. Not true. The only parking problems are at the two trail heads. Also, blaming the guidebooks is a red herring. Face it, the parking areas are undersize because they are on multi-million dollar real estate. Better to maximize profit and build houses than to build free (or even paid) parking.


  5. Pro Bono January 21, 2019 12:22 pm Reply

    People who are stupid enough to ignore all the warning signs and hack through jungle to put themselves at hazard deserve to be washed away. It also helps to improve the gene pool!


  6. mimi January 21, 2019 2:40 pm Reply

    Wow be careful where you park up there. Tell Axel.


  7. mike January 21, 2019 2:41 pm Reply

    Careful where you park up there


  8. dylan January 21, 2019 2:43 pm Reply

    wow


  9. tom mc January 21, 2019 3:20 pm Reply

    Just wait until someone can’t use a credit card to release the car and ends up driving it with the window covered and ends up in an accident, PSA might just be liable since it was them that obstructed the vehicle safety. Bad idea,


  10. Mark Gregory January 21, 2019 5:24 pm Reply

    I can’t wait for the PCA to attach this barnacle to my Tesla Model S and I drive off in autopilot mode laughing the whole way home with the illegally attached device still attached to my windshield. I’m sure some tin snips or an angle grinder can work it off .


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