I have read the negative comments about Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use path, with considerable dismay. I and my wife are owners at Pono Kai in Kapa’a. Part of every year, we live less than 100 feet from the path. For years we walked and hiked along the coast following the old narrow gauge railway bed and cane roads and trails from Kapa’a to Anahola. The creation of Ke Ala Hele Makalae was viewed with trepidation by owners and the resort at Pono Kai. The resort hired night security personnel. There has been no increase in any mischief by people walking the path, some of whom come to enjoy the south end of Kapa’a Beach Park, not far from our lanai. The path is used by hundreds of local residents including many keiki and kapuna. The initial 6 month trial of dogs on the path was a success. The great majority of dog owners are respectful and caring for their dogs and they clean up after them. We view this path as an asset and treasure here on Kaua’i. A path going to or through a shopping area or through town would be sad distortion of the purpose of this path and a betrayal of aloha.
We were not happy about the path being diverted by the Waipoli development across from Safeway and were very pleased to see that the extension was moving forward along the coast. The environmental issues are very minimal. This is floating slab concrete construction. Very little of the subsoil is disturbed. In a questionable or particularly sensitive environmental area, it could be an elevated board walk. There is erosion at the south end of the path near Pono Kai that we are concerned about. It resulted from winter storm surge and high surf this year and last. In one area, the erosion is within 10’ of the path. It is my opinion, that the seawall ought to have been extended an additional 100’ to the north when it was rebuilt several years ago. However, I also know that seawalls and jettys can have unintended consequences for shoreline erosion.
Please do not be unduly influenced by people who are acting in the belief that they are protecting the coastline. They are worried about the quiet enjoyment of their property. I get that. It is also possible that e-bikes and e-skateboards may have to be restricted. We have seen occasional “speeding” by these devices but the great majority of people using the path are very respectful of each other and the shoreline. This is a jewel that needs to be enhanced not curtailed.
Stan Greenbaum, Kapa’a