Time for action to fix traffic woes

  • Nick Celario / The Garden Island

    Glenn Mickens

It was great to see Councilmember Kuali‘i vote against salary raises for those already making over $100,000 a year (TGI, April 25). But it is disappointing to not see the vote being 7 to 0 against it, though I believe that Councilmembers Kagawa and Brun will also be against it.

Councilman Kuali‘i wisely said, “Over 50 percent of the people in Hawaii that cannot get by — right — that they are struggling and we are not paying attention to them.” They have to work two jobs or more just to survive while making the minimum wage per hour.

He also makes the point that these raises come on the backs of the poorest on Kauai. A half percent excise tax was just passed, which is regressive and, again, hurts those in the lower-pay range than those at the top.

A tax that is supposed to help pave our roads that are in horrendous shape but an audit needs to be done and shown to the taxpayers so we can find out exactly where all our tax dollars are going — excise, weight, gas, vehicle and registration fees.

Are the people getting these raises really doing the jobs they are paid to do? Show us something positive that has been done to alleviate traffic, get low-income housing, repave our roads, solid waste issue (no home trash pickup for recycling nor a MRF so badly needed) and solve the homeless people problem.

In sports today, athletes are making millions of dollars to perform, but the key word here is “perform” — if they do not do the job they were paid to do they take a cut in salary, or are released. So why are we asked to give raises to some of those who obviously are not producing?

Our past administration had 10 years to alleviate or solve at least some of these problems, but the problems have only gotten worse. Why haven’t we even started to pave our cane haul roads to give people alternate means of getting to their destinations and help keep traffic from backing up for miles?

And I have said this before and will say it again. People who drive a vehicle are going to keep driving that vehicle and will not stop using it for a bus, bike or walking, as those in power keep saying is a solution — anyone who reads this letter (except those who have no vehicle or cannot drive), ask yourselves if you will ever get rid of your car or truck and wait at a bus stop, bike or walk to your destination.

Only making this island more vehicle-friendly will solve the problem. Ninety percent of the people or more including visitors will go where they want when they want to go, and that is in their own or borrowed vehicle.

Not just our past administration is delinquent of not taking action to solve these problems. All other administrations are just a guilty, except they did not have 10 years to take action.

Please, Mr. Mayor, you made promises at election time to take action to solve these problems — show us taxpayers that you meant what you said.


Glenn Mickens is a resident of Kapaa.

  1. Charlie Chimknee May 3, 2019 3:38 am Reply

    Aloha GLENN,

    I’ll give up driving my rattletrap pickup to LIHUE, if you can help make it happen that the County provide busses with racks on the roofs for lumber and anything large, along with a forklift towed behind to remove my stuff from the roof in front of my house.

    If we could make the Walmart, CostCo, Home Depot, and County and State Building parking lots empty all day but the businesses full of employees and customers a big part of the problem will be solved, by busses that are specialty outfitted.

    In fact wouldn’t it be a solution, and fun, chatting with your neighbors and co-Workers to and from LIHUE…? With door to door service.

    It would even be better if the private businesses paid for their own mandatory door to door pick up and drop off delivery busses for their customers.

    Close off all the parking lots to enforce the solution, like Haena will sort of do.

    Even better close Walmart CostCo Home Depot, etc., and make All purchasing island wide via Amazon and make that Trillionaire no tax paying Amazon Bezos pay all the salaries for those put out of work, and let them finally get a day or a beach lifestyle.

    Same with County and State buildings close them and make them and all the closed buildings and parking lots Homeless Havens. And grow food in the parking lots with above ground soil and crop containers.

    The Building Dept has gone all electronic, have all government agencies go electronic, Tax already is, and let the few remaining government workers work from home.

    Voila (wala )…! traffic, government salaries, homeless, community table top gardens (no need bend over type Agriculture) with bicycling to the parking lot farms farmers.

    Problems…? The Solutions are all in our heads…!

    Mahalo GLENN

  2. Sue May 3, 2019 7:37 am Reply

    I am in agreement with you, Mr. Mickens. The government, who gave themselves raises, now have to prove to use why they deserve that money!

    What have they done besides sit around and make more money by talking about doing things and forming more oversight groups?

    We need action on this island, and we need it quickly. The word is QUICKLY! I am not sure that word has been used in the council before!

  3. gordon oswald May 3, 2019 9:30 am Reply

    Thank you Glenn for the opinion! You’re an Island treasure and well respected by all of us who have worked with you! That being said, I’m conflicted over the growth vs. preserve dilemma? New roads invariably means more shopping centers, housing developments, restaurants, office buildings, churches, and on and on being built along them. It also means more people will be attracted to move here, and then the cycle repeats itself. More roads attracts more people moving in, means more roads again, means more people moving in yet again, until Kauai becomes a freeway connected, urban sprawl, eyesore like Oahu or Maui. Are we all ready for that? Does the beauty of this Island suffer? Does Kauai stop being the gem of the Pacific? Is it fair for everyone in the world who wants to live here to not have the opportunity to do so? I’m shocked already by the number of homeless people, illegal immigrants, and crime perpetrators who now call Kauai “home”. How do we handle the increase of all of that? We are truly in a dilemma. God help our local government officials make the right decisions for this last bastion of protected beauty and grace located in the United States of America, outside of our National Parks. An Island that those who were born here, who currently live here, and who pay taxes to hopefully protect her, call home!

    1. james May 4, 2019 8:00 am Reply

      Agree with your post. No new subdivisions, no more growth, no more expansion. Do we really have illegal immigrants here? That caught me by surprise; where are they from and how did they get here?

  4. Lawaibob May 3, 2019 12:04 pm Reply

    Looks like someone needed a little attention, huh. Glenn, I hope you feel more important today.

    1. Manawai May 4, 2019 9:50 pm Reply

      Takes one to know one.

  5. Z May 3, 2019 9:12 pm Reply

    It would be nice to make government accountable for all they do in other words we have a snowball chance in hell. Kauai is turning out to be a corrupt little town I miss the old kauai it’s gone for good .the traffic in the past 5 years has so bad it’s like watching news from cal. N see there traffic jams I hate it snow all of you just think if they ever get coco palms back in business we are all screwed. Let’s sit down n try to resolve the issues instead of swiping it under the rug we need to. Fix it now before there’s no solution.

  6. Rev Dr. Malama May 7, 2019 1:42 pm Reply

    The latest news on the coconut wireless is that the richest people in the world are all making moves to buy Kauai and run it like DUBAI…. BOOM, PROBLEM SOLVED

  7. Doug May 7, 2019 3:25 pm Reply

    I noticed they are paving the highway between Lihue and Kapaa, that’s a start! After that, let’s see some action on a long promised but never done item…….let’s add a lane between the bypass road and Coco Palms, do it now before Coco Palms changes hands again, in fact start right in front of Coco Palms! Let’s see some action, at least park a truck or two in that area to give us some hope! Yes, I know, it will never happen in my lifetime!

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