LIHUE — Thousands of people are drawn to the popular scenic areas on Kauai’s North Shore every day, but one long-standing problem has been too many vehicles illegally parked along Kuhio Highway. This has caused gridlock, safety concerns and numerous complaints, said state Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura.
HB 333 HD1 SD2 CD1, a bill introduced by Nakamura and signed into law July 5 by Gov. David Ige, establishes a new State Highway Enforcement Program. The bill also sets a parking violation surcharge in special no-parking zones in addition to other penalties and fines for parking violations on state highways.
“This bill is the direct result of Haena and Wainiha residents raising the concern about illegally parked cars taking over their community and causing health and safety issues,” Nakamura said in a press release. “Adding a $200 surcharge to the existing parking fine of $35 will deter visitors from parking in the newly established ‘no-parking’ zone.” Half of the $200 surcharge will go to the police department where the citation is issued. The other half will go to the State Highway Fund.
Increasing the parking fine is part of a multi-pronged solution to manage tourism at Haena State Park, the release said. To protect cultural and natural resources from overuse, daily visitor counts will be reduced from 3,000 to 900 per day.
Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said over the past two years the county has collaborated on initiatives to address community concerns and better manage the island’s popular destinations.
“Last year’s record-breaking flood further highlighted the need to put a plan into motion,” said Kawakami in a written statement.
“This bill has been instrumental in the significant reduction of illegal parking in Haena, and it continues to be a crucial component in the success of our new management efforts,” he said in the statement.